The attractiveness for locals and tourism of the mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and one of the natural wonders of the world, is under threat if Botswana goes ahead with its planned extraction of large volumes of water from Chobe River for use in its interior, a cabinet minister has said. This would affect foreign currency inflows for both Zimbabwe and Zambia pumped in by tourists who throng the falls annually to witness the "smoke that thunders."
Botswana has notified other southern African countries of its intentions to abstract some 30 cubic metres from the Chobe River where it meets the Zambezi River for a planned irrigation scheme in the Pandamatenga area and for domestic water supply.
The Minister of Water Resources Development and Management, Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo recently told parliament that Zimbabwe was considering Botswana's submission.
He, however, noted the project might have serious repercussions on Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world, which is 1,708 metres wide.
"They have notified us because the Zamcom (Zambezi Watercourse Commission) agreement requires them to do that and we are now considering their submissions," said Sipepa-Nkomo.
"Though more studies may be necessary, it looks like 30 cubic metres is a lot of water which might deprive the attractiveness of the Victoria Falls."Remarkably preserved in its natural state, Victoria Falls inspires visitors as much today as it did to David Livingstone in the 1860s.
Source: Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe threatened by planned Botswana project (10/09/13)