HomeOpinion & AnalysisAuthorities must stop the decimation of Bvumba

Authorities must stop the decimation of Bvumba

The word “Bvumba” is derived from the eastern vernacular mubvumbi, meaning persistent light showers that come with thick mist engulfing an area and its surroundings.

Sunday Opinion by Farai Matebvu

The favourable climatic conditions and altitude allow a variety of animals and different plant species to thrive.

Yet today these mountains are in a predicament. Unprecedented deforestation of the virgin forests and commercial plantations goes unchecked, threatening ecology while decimating tourism hopes and hampering economic prospects for the communal people.

Bvumba also lacks the means and mechanisms to ignite socio-eco-cultural development.

It is naturally endowed with tourism attractions and timber, the main sources of revenue and employment for the local people and hoteliers operating in the area.

Uncontrollable deforestation continues to fetter the growth of commercial plantations and majestic forests thus posing horrifying effects on the ecosystem.

Commissioning the Old Mutual sponsored Zimunya Nursery at Zimunya High School last week, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Francis Nhema bemoaned the disappearance of forests in Manicaland.

“It is quite disturbing to all of us that in this time and age, people continue to destroy our natural resources without considering the after-effects on the environment.

This is the beauty that cannot be found in Masvingo or Shurugwi and people fail to think why international tourists search for this beauty.

Manicaland is blessed with beautiful mountains and is well-known for being endowed with vast forests, but the people have been callously chopping down trees without considering the sixth sense.

People continue to cut down trees, today they cut, tomorrow they cut again, when are you going to retire from this ferocious act?”

Sustainable utilisation of the resources in the area will serve to create economic fortunes including jobs and income for the people employed in these industries.

The symbiotic relationship that exists between tourism as an economic activity as well as entertainment and nature can never be overstated.

This is true, because tourists get value for their money for a combination of reasons.

This is especially so when the area is endowed with certain environmental traits, some mixture of relatively rare aesthetic ecological characteristics, social and cultural attributes. This is called eco-tourism.

It is these rare superlative ecological attributes that deforestation continues to ravage and “kill” with very little attention and effort being put to end barbaric practices on the environment.

Trends on the magnitude of the uncontrollable deforestation and trail of mass destruction are devastating. There is need for an immediate intervention and practical action to halt forthwith destructive tendencies towards natural resources.

The starting point on fighting deforestation would be looking at lawlessness that began in 2000 with the land reform programme; there has been an upsurge in deforestation on both indigenous forests and commercial plantations in the Bvumba area and, to some extent, cases of uncontrolled veld fires  destroyed holiday resorts and the beauty of the mountains.

The effects of deforestation on Bvumba mountains have negatively impacted the development of the area and that of the national economy at large.

As highlighted, Bvumba provides quality tourism based on pristine flora and fauna which is unparalleled in the country, which makes it an ideal tourist destination.

One sad scenario would be of reduced eco-tourism flow to the area, thus wilting tourism prospects and employment opportunities for the youth.

The desperate and unemployed people would finish off the remaining forests for subsistence farming, instead of encouraging the local communities to appreciate the value of the environment and its natural resources, conservation and the growing opportunities in the area and their participation in wild-based industries including tourism.

Farm workers also lose their jobs when plantations are reduced to ashes.

Hakuna Matata Holiday Resort which is in the heart of Bvumba and was surrounded by green, cosy and sumptuous vegetation is now in the open, a thing not synonymous with resorts.

The embroidery industry thrives in Bvumba with approximately 50 women realising health financial earnings for their families by selling table cloths, aprons and some wall hangings to tourists and travellers by roadsides. Their families are equally vulnerable given the unforeseen prospects of tourists flow being curtailed.

The need to protect precious natural resources such as forests and the beauty associated with mountains for tourism and entertainment purposes is now long overdue.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

NewsDay Zimbabwe will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.