via Batoka Gorge dam proposal 24 October 2014
Earlier this year it was announced that the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia had signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding resurrecting the long proposed Batoka Hydro Power Station Development. This involves building a dam wall in the Batoka Gorge below the Victoria Falls.
The resulting lake would flood a section of the Zambesi River for some 50km below the Falls, drowning one of the most highly regarded commercially operated white water rafting in the world. Feasibility studies have suggested that to build a dam wall, 196m high, in the Batoka Gorge, 50 km down stream from the Falls would flood the rivers and gorges upstream to almost the foot of the Falls.
The Batoka Gorge is listed as an important bird life area by Birdlife International. An endangered species, the taita falcon breeds here as well as many other rare birds of prey such as Verraux’s eagle, lanner and peregrine falcon.
It is thought that the narrow deep-water nature of the resulting lake will not sustain large fish populations and that the local mains electricity network is unliely to be developed meaning that many rural communities will continue to be isolated from the national electrical supply.
We are very concerned about this proposed dam. Firstly, the white water rafting is considered to be one of the best in the world and we will lose that. Secondly, the bird life and the fish life will suffer. Also, it will mean that hundreds of rural folk will have to be relocated.
If you would like to have your say about this, go to http://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/batoka-gorge-dam.html
BINGA VILLAGERS ARRESTED FOR EATING POACHED ELEPHANT
An elephant was poached on the 20th July 2014 and 21 Binga villagers rushed in and skinned the elephant and took the meat. Binga resident magistrate, Stephen Ndlovu said he was baffled by the fact that the villagers knew that poachers had shot the elephant but instead of telling the police, they rushed in and stole the meat.
POACHER SHOT DEAD
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority rangers at the Chete National Parks in Binga shot a suspected poacher dead and seriously injured 3 others they ambushed soon after they killed a female elephant in the park. The injured poachers are currently admitted in the Binga District Hospital in critical condition. They have been charged with unlawful hunting and possession of elephant tusks.
The rangers found them relaxing around a fire they had made, cooking a meal. One of the men jumped up, picked up a gun and was shot dead on the spot.
CHINESE NATIONAL GETS 10 YEAR SENTENCE FOR POACHING
The highest penalty ever imposed in South Africa for the illegal possession of ivory was handed down in Khayalitcha Magistrate’s Court when Cheng Jie Liang was sentenced to 10 years jail and a 5 million rand fine for possessing 1 ton of poached elephant tusks.
Liang, a Chinese nation who has been living in South Africa since 2003, was sentenced to a further 2 years jail for the illegal possession of abalone.
Liang was arrested in September 2012 in Milnerton where the ivory was stored in 2 storage units at Storage Spot. The stash included 67 tusk tips indicating that 34 elephants had been killed. It is now estimated that in Africa, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes.