Fungai Lupande Mash Central Bureau
The once successful Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) is now being revamped with the Second Republic wanting a more viable model that ensures sustainability and channels more benefits to the people.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told the World Tourism Day commemoration on Saturday at Paradise Pools Resort in Bindura Rural that it was disheartening that the pools were once a thriving community project under Campfire benefiting the local communities, until other partners pulled out.
“It is my hope that these celebrations will mark the revival of this once thriving product. I challenge our team from the ministry, Campfire and the provincial teams including Bindura Rural District Council to immediately work on revamping this project,” he said.
“Campfire presents massive potential for inclusive growth if executed in line with the vision which it was conceived. In some areas Campfire projects have achieved in uplifting the lives of communities.
“However in order to institutionalise inclusivity into the arrangement, Government has already approved the need to revamp Campfire in a bid to come up with a viable model that ensures sustainability and channelling of more benefits to the community.”
Next year Minister Ndlovu said numerous Campfire projects across the country which have failed to thrive will be revamped in order to widen community participation in tourism, and promote improved livelihoods.
But Minister Ndlovu noted that Campfire needed to sustain the natural resources and he slammed illegal mining in ecologically sensitive ecosystems like Mazowe River.
“Environmental degradation is a major deterrent to tourism and I strongly warn those who have perpetuated illegal mining especially in ecologically sensitive ecosystems that not only will the arm of the reach them but they stand to suffer heavy losses. I implore the province to set up a crack team that comprises security forces, EMA, Ministry of Mines and ZINWA and deal decisively with these perpetrators.”
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Monica Mavhunga was delighted that the national celebrations was done in a remote area. “Our provincial economy has been anchored on mining and agriculture with minimum focus on tourism. This commemoration will trigger tourism activities to boost our Gross Domestic Product,” she said.
“Mining and tourism disputes have riddled the Mavuradonha area. We need an integrated policy which recognised the importance of contributions of each sector and tourism for the benefit of future generations.” Mavuradonha Wilderness proprietor Mr George Seremwe said the disputes in the area have been addressed and mining activities in the protected areas were stopped.
“We applaud the Government for law enforcement to address these challenges. We want the protected areas to continue being protected. We have a lot of cultural heritage endowed in the wilderness and they were under threat,” he said.
“The name Mavuradonha was derived from ‘falling waters.’ Sohwe Falls is one of the hidden treasures in this province. It is one of the deepest falls apart from Chimanimani and its water come from springs, whose water is used for healing purposes
.“The game breeding program to develop tourism is now gaining traction and wild animals are starting to come back. The conservancy is under CAMPFIRE and we are trying to stimulate the programme under GEF 6 under UNDP to promote community participation in the nine wards bordering the wilderness.
“We are excited that Government is working towards revamping CAMPFIRE. Money from tourism should trickle to the community.” The winner of the tourism innovation challenge was Jeffrey Takunda Murungweni, an upper six student at Watershed This year’s world tourism day was celebrated under the theme, “tourism for inclusive growth.”