Coal mining in Hwange threatens Safari Tourism
Centre for Natural Resource Governance director Farai Maguwu has warned the government against allowing Chinese to mine coal in Hwange National Park.
Hwange National Park is one of the famous parks in the country and has a wide variety of animals that attract tourists.
Speaking in an interview on Studio 7, Maguwu said allowing coal mining in the national park will affect safari tourism and smooth movement of animals.
“Its a disappointment to a lot of people in Hwange, especially those that enjoy the environment and animals.
“They are saddened because Hwange is a National Park, it does not only keep animals but it also generates revenue from tourism receipts for the country.
“The park creates a lot jobs in the safari tourism sector so allowing the Chinese in this national park will affect animal movement, breeding,” he said.
Maguwu added that once animal movement is affected, safari tourism will also get affected and effects will be felt in the economy.
Tourism is regarded as one of the key pillars of the economy with quick wins if it is adequately supported by the government.
Meanwhile, the area being prospected for coal mining by the Chinese in Hwange National Park is said to be home to the rhino, which currently one of the endangered species.
According to Farai Maguwu, the Chinese did not do an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)before starting the prospecting efforts.
“We are very sad about the development, EIA, was not done although there is a law that clearly demands that.
“Zimbabwe should join hands with other countries in climate change issues.
“Investment in coal mining is a step backwards and its an issue that we desperately need to discuss as Zimbabwean so that we can adopt renewable energy which is clean,” he said.