Victoria Falls tour operators dispatch helicopter and rafting guides to Chimanimani
SHEARWATER Adventures and Chikopokopo Tour Operators in Victoria Falls have dispatched two six-seater long-range helicopters and water rafters to cyclone-ravaged Chimanimani to help in rescue operations.
The Airforce of Zimbabwe and other private players are also on the ground conducting search and rescue operations in the area.
Shearwater Adventures spokesperson Clement Mukwasi yesterday confirmed the development, adding that tourism players in the resort town came together to aid in the rescue operations.
"Yes, it's true we have dispatched two six-seater helicopters with pilots and engineers and a number of water rafters to Chimanimani to help in the rescue operations of the victims of Cyclone Idai. The helicopters are long-range copters that started work yesterday [Wednesday] and will be based there for a week. On top of that we have also dispatched 15 rafters and a Kayaker [canoe paddler] to rescue marooned victims and retrieve bodies if any. Currently there are now eight helicopters doing the rescue operations," he said.
One hundred and thirty-nine people have been confirmed dead, while hundreds more are missing.
In a related development, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister, Larry Mavhima on Wednesday said the province had received donations worth over $260 000 in cash and kind for Cyclone Idai victims in the Chirumanzu and Mvuma areas.
"I am happy to note that after launching the initiative yesterday (Tuesday), we have received donations in cash and kind to the tune of over $260 000 and more is coming since we have a lot of pledges from individuals and the corporate world," Mavhima said in Gweru.