Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
GOVERNMENT has started rehabilitating Binga airstrip and others countrywide, a move aimed at improving accessibility, especially in tourism areas so that they contribute to the national economy.
Rehabilitation work is already underway at the Binga airstrip located on the edge of the Zambezi River west of Binga centre, and a few hundred metres away from one of the sand beaches, making it strategic for tourism.
Binga is a tourism destination sitting on untapped tourism opportunities especially with regards to sand beaches that are not being fully utilised on the Zambezi River.
With investment, the beaches can become Binga’s tourism draw-card for recreation, leisure and sport.
The district has the potential to attract thousands of tourists but lacks the necessary infrastructure for the drive hence the Second Republic’s commitment to developing the area.
The district also has hot springs, wildlife and some of the economic activities include fishing, boating, crocodile farming, cultural activities among others.
The distance from other towns and a poor road network makes it difficult for tourists to visit the area.
The Second Republic has taken the initiative to make the area attractive through a number of projects aimed at making Binga competitive and part of the greater corridor linked to the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone.
Rehabilitating the airstrip which is managed by the District Development Fund (DDF) on behalf of Government, will make Binga attractive as a destination as some light aircraft could fly directly to the area.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said a number of airstrips, some of them Bumi Hills, Kanyemba, and Chapoto are under rehabilitation countrywide.
He was speaking in an interview during a tour of his ministry’s infrastructure in Victoria Falls.
“It’s not only Binga but all airstrips as we are actually trying to resuscitate and rehabilitate them so that we then resonate well with the bigger picture of vision 2030 and also to promote tourism. So Binga is being upgraded and also other airstrips that were under the purview of District Development Fund and some that were still under the military that are going to be transferred to civilian. This is what is happening and I am glad to say that the second dispensation is moving with speed,” said Minister Mhona.
Posting on his official Twitter account, Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said Government is leaving no one behind in its development programmes.
“Work has started on the rehabilitation and modernization of the Binga airstrip. This will help with access to this part of the country which has got attractions such as Binga beaches among others. Government is leaving no one behind in its development programmes,” he said.
In a recent interview, DDF acting director for roads, Engineer Goodwell Mapako said the airstrip can accommodate small aircraft.
The tourism industry has welcomed the upgrading of aviation infrastructure as a key enabler to the travel industry.
“As areas such as Binga become more accessible we will be able to realise full potential over the various products that the country offers.
We look forward to the same for Eastern Highlands to be able to see flights linking Victoria Falls which is the gateway to our world of wonders and grow the length of stay in the country,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe national vice chairman Mr Farai Chimba, who is Victoria Falls Hotel general manager. — @ncubeleon.