14th December 2010
As 2010 draws to a close, we realize that it hasn't been a very good year for the wildlife or the environment. It has also been a very sad year with the deaths of Steve Kok, Don Hornsby and Pete Evershed who were all killed by wild animals. Hopefully 2011 will be better. We wish all our readers a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
RESTAURANT AND BAR IN THE VICTORIA FALLS RAIN FOREST
A 120 seater restaurant, bar and merchandise shop has been established in the Victoria Falls Rain Forest. Victoria Falls is a National Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the establishment of this commercial enterprise is in violation of the rules governing National Heritage Sites. The rules state that there shall be no further infrastructural development in the rain forest, apart from the upgrading of existing structures. It is also ruled that in a National Monument such as the Victoria Falls Rain Forest, there shall be no outlet that sells food and beverages.
In view of the number of people that the restaurant can accommodate, there will now be a greatly increased number of people wandering through the rainforest and there are not sufficient ablution facilities to cater for them.
Of greatest concern is the possibility that Victoria Falls Rain Forest is now in danger of losing its status as a National Heritage Site.
COAL MINING IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
I recently travelled to Hwange National Park and was dismayed to discover that on the road into Sinamatella Camp, you now travel through an ugly coal mining area. There are great deposits of earth alongside the road as well as heavy duty mine vehicles. We have also had reports that there are two more coal mines inside the National Park near Robins Camp.
CHINESE MINING IN THE MAVHURADONHA MOUNTAINS
Mavhuradonha means 'place of the falling water' and is a natural environment of great beauty with crystal clear water and fresh mountain air.
Residents of the area, however are desperately concerned about the illegal mining operations being conducted by the Chinese in their search for chrome. The Chinese are literally ripping up the beautiful countryside just outside the wilderness area but they are closing in fast.
According to reports, they are mining without prospecting orders or permits and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done.
Further reports have been received that the Chinese are also starting mining operations in the Nyamaneche Game Park in Mvurwi. Apparently there were 9 rhino in the game park, 6 of which have now been poached. The remaining 3 were supposed to be relocated but it is believed that they too have been poached.
THE MAVHURADONHA WILDERNESS
DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE MINING OPERATIONS
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 339065
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.