BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
MANA Pools heritage site is likely to lose millions of dollars as tourists cannot access it following the destruction of bridges linking the area last week.
Two bridges — Marongora and Runese bridges in Chirundu — that lead to the tourist site were swept away by heavy rains, making the resort inaccessible. African Wildlife Foundation country director Olivia Mufute last Friday told NewsDay that the destruction of the bridges was a huge loss for the wildlife conservation sector.
“Loss of access to the world heritage site will result in reduced revenue for wildlife conservation for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), a parastatal that has not recovered from revenue losses caused by the COVID-19-related travel restrictions,” Mufute said.
“Road access to Mana Pools is also vital for distribution of supplies to rangers in Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore,” she said.
Mufute said water supplies for rangers at one of their strategic bases had also been cut off.
Mana Pools National Park is located in the extreme north of Zimbabwe close to the Zambezi River and is far from major towns and settlements.
Known to be one of the least developed national parks in the whole of southern Africa, Mana Pools is bursting with birdlife and wildlife, especially during the dry season from June to October.