THE ParliamentaryPortfolio Committee on Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry says it expects the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) to under take most of its capital projects following improved funding in the proposed 2019 national budget.
Zimparks hosts most ofthe tourist facilities and conserves natural resources through National andRecreational Parks and is intending to increase arrivals in national parks around the country and improve wildlife protection by 10% from the 2018 target.
To achieve these objectives, the authority intended to invest in capital projects and
Reading the committee report in the National Assembly committee chairperson Consilia Chinanzvavana said the funding would go a long way in helping refurbish Zimparks facilities.
“The committee expects that the amount would enable the authority to refurbish lodging facilities in pursuit of its goal to attain a 3-star status. The Committee noted that 80% oftourist rooms are in Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority designated areas,” she said.
Some of Zimparks lodging facilities are reportedly 20 to 30 years old and in need of refurbishmentto give them a fresher look as a way of also trying to develop domestic tourism.
According to Honourable Chinanzvavana, Zimparks also intends to acquire 30 vehicles for law enforcement and game translocations, and 1 helicopter for aerial surveillance and translocations, adding that these would help to combat poaching activities in National Parks.
Meanwhile, Chinanzvavana added that the committee also observed that $11million was ring-fenced for road network development, maintenance and upgrade. The amount would be accessed through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
She added that “the committee expects that with such capital projects, Zimparks would effectively execute its mandate on non-commercialised activities such as anti-poaching. “The Committee noted again that the allocation on capital expenditure is in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Program,” she said.