Current rains boost for wildlife

By Tichaona Kurewa

WILDLIFE experts say the current rains being received in most parts of the country are set to boost availability of water and feed for wildlife, thus guaranteeing a healthy wild animal population.

The current rains will raise the ground water table and also fill up all drinking points in the country’s game parks and thus avoid past scenarios where a significant number of elephants succumbed to drought related challenges.

Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo noted: “Our wildlife will have enough water, especially this year where we have been receiving good rains throughout the country. It will also ensure that we reduce the cost of providing water because most of our parks fall in the dry region; we have been pumping water for animals in most parts of the year. Hwange, for example, runs on 100 percent borehole water and definitely these rains benefit in a big way. We will not have a scenario were we will lose animals due to starvation like what happened three ago, when we lost about 200 elephants to starvation.”

Conservationist Langton Masunda weighed in on the significance of the current rains to wildlife.

“The good rains are improving on the water table to the effect that most of our water is pumped and with dinging water table, it becomes difficult for one to harvest enough to cater for the capacity of the wildlife that we have. So, this is a positive development for the tourism sector.”

Zimbabwe has the world’s second largest population of elephants estimated at around 85 thousand, with wildlife being a major draw card for tourists.

Southern African countries have in the recent past raised concern over the increase in elephant populations, which pose a threat to the natural habitat, urging the international community to lift the ban imposed in the trade of ivory.

In 2019, a total of 200 elephants succumbed to drought in the country’s largest game reserve, the Hwange National Park.