GIVEN the dire state of Zimbabwe’s economy which is currently desperate for everything, from its very own currency to fuel, one would have imagined that the country’s leadership would jealously guard and nurture every source of livelihood that is helping keep the troubled nation’s head above the water.
But this is just one big fat chance when one looks at the case of the premier resort town of Victoria Falls which is currently experiencing one of its worst water shortages in ages. Victoria Falls’ water shortages are not only humiliating, but a major indictment to all the country’s purported efforts to achieve middle income status by 2030.
That the major resort town, made famous by one of the world’s seven natural wonders, the Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-tunya — the Smoke that thunders, lies on the banks of Africa’s fourth longest river, the Zambezi, is more than perplexing that it can be said to be experiencing such serious water challenges to the point of being threatened with a cholera outbreak.
Reasons being given that the resort town is failing to supply enough water to its 30 000 odd population and the hordes of tourists because of power outages and a rising population are flimsy if the country’s authorities really appreciated that this tourism gem is one of the country’s top foreign currency earners. It is said, the town requires $15,7 million to sort out its water crisis. And we are not convinced that government is failing to find that money to alleviate the crisis. If government is not prioritising the upkeep of places such as Victoria Falls, then we wonder what exactly is on its to do list? And, by the way, what happened to government’s promise that the town would be exempted from load-shedding?
It’s high time our government matured and weaned itself from prioritising petty and kindergarten machinations of always laying the blame on the MDC for poorly running councils. It is for its own good that places such as Victoria Falls are kept pristine because they shore up its currently battered image. Besides, these places are gooses that are laying the golden eggs. So it is quite confounding that government appears disinterested in the state of a prime place such as Victoria Falls, which has over the years kept tourists coming despite the country having been declared a pariah State following serious human rights violations.
It is quite sad and disheartening that millions, if not billions, of dollars have vanished and continue to disappear from government coffers without anything to show for it, while places like Victoria Falls that are propping government’s foreign currency reserves are being left to rot.