Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT under the Second Republic has renewed efforts to spur the economic growth of Hwange and Binga leveraging on their potential as key tourism destinations, through rehabilitating aerodromes in the two districts.
Binga and Hwange districts, which are both located in Matabeleland North province, stand out as growing investment destinations for the country.
Binga is a tourism destination sitting on untapped tourism opportunities and has sand beaches that are not being fully utilised on the Zambezi River.
With investment, the beaches can become Binga’s tourism draw-card for recreation, leisure and sport. The district has the potential to attract thousands of tourists but lacks the necessary infrastructure hence the Second Republic’s commitment to developing the area.
Binga has hot springs, wildlife and some of the economic activities include fishing, boating, crocodile farming and cultural activities among others.
Hwange District alone has seen expansion of mining investments in the last few years with growing focus on diversification towards coal value addition and energy generation, which are set to enhance export prospects and job opportunities.
The two districts are situated close to the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s prime tourist destination, which is home to one of the world’s seven wonders, the Mosi-oa-Tunya and Hwange, providing one of Africa’s ultimate game experiences.
Writing in his weekly column in the Chronicle’s sister papers, Sunday News and Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa said the full realisation of dividends from the tourism, fishery and mining sectors, which constitute the lynch-pin of Binga and Hwange districts’ economies hinge on the rehabilitation of aerodromes.
The President said given the pace at which both Hwange and Victoria Falls are growing, as well as the grand vision for tourism along the Binga — Kanyemba stretch of the Zambezi River, the two aerodromes are going to be rehabilitated.
“Recently I noted with concern the state of disrepair of two key aerodromes: in Hwange and in Binga. With the pace at which both Hwange and Victoria Falls are growing, as well as the grand vision for tourism we have along the Binga — Kanyemba stretch of the Zambezi River, these aerodromes are going to be rehabilitated,” he said.
In the 2022 National Budget, the Treasury allocated $187 million towards rehabilitation of air strips with priority being given to Binga, Kanyemba, Bumi, Murewa, Chivi and Buffalo Range.
Government recently green-lighted the implementation of several major developmental projects in Binga district in line with the Second Republic development thrust that leaves no one and no place behind.
Following the President’s visit and rally at Siabuwa in Binga last month, he said there was a need to implement a variety of development initiatives for the Binga District.
The development initiatives include the rehabilitation of roads, construction of a Vocational Training Centre and an Industrial Training Centre, refurbishment and setting up of a nursing school at Binga Hospital and the refurbishment and operationalisation of the mortuary at Binga District Hospital.
In Hwange, President Mnangagwa last month officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a US$48,1 million 42km pipeline which will supply water to Hwange Power Station from Zambezi River.
The 962mm pipeline will run parallel to the existing one used by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) for water supply to the power station and Hwange community.
The project scope involves construction of a 42km pipeline from Deka on the Zambezi River, upgrading of Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) pump station, and creation of three outlets along the way to supply communities in Makwa, Marshala and Chachachunda with potable water.
The Deka Pipeline will increase water supply to the power station from the current 3 500 cubic metres to 6 000 cubic metres per hour.
The project is expected to be completed in March next year, in time for commissioning of the Zimbabwe Power Company Unit 8 expansion.
This will be sufficient to supply the expanded power station after completion of Unit 7 and 8 projects.
“The power line connecting Hwange 7 and 8 to the main Station at Insukamini is near completion. Before year-end, the first Unit — Hwange 7 — will come on line, thus boosting our national power supply,” said President Mnangagwa.
The Second Republic interventions under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, have in consistence with the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1), continued to be centred on scaling up the implementation of key projects with priority being on completing the ones, which had stalled for years.
In an interview yesterday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said the rehabilitation of the two aerodromes will boost tourism in Hwange and Binga districts.
“Since the coming of the Second Republic, President Mnangagwa has made it a point that no place and no one is left behind in terms of development. We are excited with the envisaged rehabilitation of aerodromes in Binga and Hwange because tourists were struggling to access these destinations,” he said.
“Once the two aerodromes have been rehabilitated, tourists will be able to use light-chartered planes to travel to Binga or Hwange and this will help boost tourism in those two districts. Right now, most tourists are only visiting Victoria Falls to access tourism facilities,” he said. – @mashnets.
Article Source: The Chronicle