Leonard Ncube–Victoria Falls Reporter
The rehabilitation of Binga airstrip and others countrywide has started in a move aimed at improving accessibility especially in tourism areas to boost the economy.
Rehabilitation work is 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 drawcard for recreation, leisure and sport.
The district has potential to attract thousands of tourists but lacks the necessary infrastructure for the drive, hence the Second Republic’s commitment to develop the area.
Other activities and attractions available in Binga, which have potential to transform the areas are hot springs, wildlife, fishing, boating, crocodile farming and cultural activities.
However, the distance from other towns and a poor road network make it difficult for tourists to visit the area.
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 Infrastructural 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 a recent 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 are 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.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana tweeted that Government was leaving no one behind in its development programmes.
“Work has started on the rehabilitation and modernisation 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 length of stay in the country,” said Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe national vice chairman Mr Garai Chimba, who is Victoria Falls Hotel general manager.