HomeLocal NewsWater shortage hampers tourism growth

Water shortage hampers tourism growth

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CHIREDZI — The acute shortage of water, persistent power blackouts and the high prevalence of malaria are threatening the tourism sector in Chiredzi, Chiredzi Ratepayers’ Association has said.
Organising secretary for the association Hosiah Revai said in an interview in Chiredzi at the weekend that water in the town was a perennial problem which Chiredzi Town Council had apparently failed to solve it.
A visit to the town by NewsDay revealed that taps were dry in most residential areas and at one of the lodges, guests had to use the bucket system for ablution purposes.
Due to massive power cuts in the area, the lodge had to resort to firewood to warm bath water in a big drum for their clients.
Revai said the shortage of water was caused by the unplanned influx of people that came to settle in Chiredzi.
“The problem with access to water here is that initially the pumping system was meant to accommodate between 20 000 and 30 000 people,” said Revai.
“Now, Chiredzi has a population of over 80 000 people and this has resulted in the pumping system failing to provide residents with enough water and only those in low-lying areas have better access to water,” he said.
He said authorities at Hippo Valley Estates were helping the town council to provide purified water to residents.
Revai said the electricity crisis in Chiredzi had led to nasty incidents such as the rotting of dead bodies at mortuaries, and it also affected electrical systems at maternity wards in the hospital.
“Load-shedding has affected mortuaries because bodies are rotting at mortuaries due to lack of electricity to support refrigeration systems there. Chiredzi is a hot area and whenever there is no power, temperatures in coldrooms and mortuaries rise very fast. Operating theatres and maternity wards at hospitals have also been affected badly by the power blackouts,” he said.
He said although Chiredzi was endowed with tourist attractions such as Gonarezhou National Park, Malilangwe Trust, and border posts, it was unlikely for tourists to be attracted to the town because of the danger of contracting malaria, coupled with other problems like lack of water and electricity.
“Chiredzi City Council cannot help us with spraying of mosquito larvae to combat the spread of malaria.
“Roads are also very bad and dusty. They also get slippery during the rainy season,” he said.

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