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Friday, June 21, 2024

No water at Matobo National Park

No water at Matobo National Park

Recently updated on November 29th, 2023 at 03:03 pm

THE Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) could have lost up to US$60 000 in potential earnings as one of the country’s top tourist destinations and Unesco World Heritage Site, the Matopo National Park has gone
for two months without running water.

During this period, the park estimates that approximately 5 500 visitors, especially those who sought overnight bookings in lodges within the park and who would have undertaken activities such as guided walks, fishing, rhino walks and camping
were turned away.

Since the end of April, the National Park has been without water after the breakdown of pumping equipment at Maleme Dam. The park has not had access to tapped water forcing it to close down and refuse bookings from clients.

The park has also been forced to cancel existing bookings as a result of the water crisis. The Zimparks regional manager for the Matopo Region, Mr Midwell Kapesa said since then, the park has been unable to function fully as a result of the water crisis with the relevant authority, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa)
reportedly struggling to secure the needed parts to fix the damaged equipment.

I would like to stress that the cost of this closure is estimated at about US$60 000 while about 5 500 visitors were unable to access our overnight services and products.
The situation is really bad especially since tourism was beginning to improve after the easing of travel restrictions.

We were hoping to increase our occupancy rates while also encouraging domestic tourism, but we instead have lost a lot in potential earnings over this period,” he said.
Zinwa corporate communications manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga confirmed the troubles at the national park when she responded to questions from this publication on Friday.
“The water challenges that are being experienced at Matopo National Park have resulted from a breakdown of pumping equipment at Maleme Dam.

Zinwa has not been able to pump water from Maleme Dam to the National Park leading to the current water situation at Matobo National Park. Zinwa has taken delivery of the requisite spares needed for the repairs at Maleme.

Repairs have commenced with the hope that normal water supplies at Matopo National Park will resume this weekend.

Zinwa sincerely regrets the inconveniences that may have resulted from this water supply disruption.”

However, at the time of going to print, the sources confirmed that water had still not been restored to the national park.

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