Monday, 31 July 2017

MEGA PARK TOURISTS SHUN ZIMBABWE

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park has not resulted in an increase in tourist arrivals.

The Government has now dispatched an inter-ministerial task team to investigate why Zimbabwe is not benefiting from the giant park.

The task team comprises members from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage.

GLTP was established in 2002 and links the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa and Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area, all in Zimbabwe. The total surface area covered by the transfrontier park measures around 37 572km².

Chairman of the National Task Team on Access and Infrastructure Development in Transfrontier Conservation Areas Mr Joseph Shoko said a team from various ministries was in Chiredzi up to Monday this week trying to identify shortfalls inhibiting Zimbabwe from enjoying returns from the pact.

He said they noted that Government should improve service provision at Sango Border Post, especially after Mozambique had established a tarred road up to the boarder post.

“We travelled to quite a number of areas in Chiredzi District,” said Mr Shoko, who is the chief environmental officer under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate.

“We identified that we cannot say we have a border post when we talk about Sango Border Post. There is no electricity, its difficult to access during the rainy season and there are no ablution facilities. You only get water when Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and immigration officials make contributions to buy diesel to pump water from a nearby borehole.”

Mr Shoko said they also identified that tourists struggled to reach the Zimbabwean side of the mega park due to damaged bridges.

“There is Bubi Bridge, which links Chiredzi and Beitbridge District ,which was destroyed in 2000 during Cyclone Eline and its yet to be repaired,” he said. herald

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