BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
KARIBA Airport has gone for nearly three weeks without water, forcing travellers and employees to relieve themselves in nearby bushes.
Kariba Airport is located in northern Zimbabwe close to Kariba Dam, which provides a significant proportion of the country’s electricity requirements.
The resort town is a wildlife haven popular with nature-loving tourists and is a venue for international tiger fishing tournaments.
The water shortage portrays a bad image for the country’s struggling tourism sector, which is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority public relations manager Marjorie Munyonga confirmed the water challenges.
“There was a burnt transformer which was supposed to be replaced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company. Zinwa has procured the transformer and is expected to be replaced by Friday. The airport will start receiving water on Friday once the transformer is replaced,” she said.
But Kariba business and tourism indaba co-ordinator Cephas Shonhiwa said the water challenges at the airport portrayed a bad image of the resort town.
“This is an international airport. What is happening is not acceptable. Authorities should intervene urgently and address the situation,” Shonhiwa said.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot afford to spend even a day without water, especially at an airport where we receive people from across the globe.”
Kariba’s main attractions are game viewing, canoeing, fishing trips, sailing, village tours, hunting, bird watching, cruises and charters, speed boating among a variety of other activities.
The annual Kariba Invitational Tiger Fish Tournament, one of the biggest freshwater angling events in Africa, attracts over 800 international and local anglers.