from ESTHER SHAVI in Kariba, Zimbabwe
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – WITH the last month of winter upon us (July), fishers and tourism operators in the world’s largest man-made Lake Kariba are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the warmer seasons.
This after the northern Zimbabwe town (neighbouring Zambia) that is a hub for both industries endured a harsh and challenging winter.
For the people who rely on fishing for their livelihood, it was particularly arduous, with the frigid weather culminating in a significant decline in fishing yields. This left fishers and their families grappling with meager incomes, at a time of economic hardships.
Tourism, another vital contributor to Kariba’s economy, also suffered.
The resort town, known for its beautiful landscape and wildlife, saw a steep decline in visitors. The quiet streets and empty hotels were a stark contrast to the vibrant and thriving atmosphere that usually permeated the area during the warmer seasons.
As winter gives way to spring and temperatures rise, so does the optimism.
August is the last month of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It paves way for spring.
“Winter has been tough on all of us,” said Sharon Kawocha, an experienced fisherwoman.
“With lower catches, our income has plummeted,” she expressed concern.
“But as the days get warmer, we are optimistic that the fish populations will increase, bringing back prosperity to our families and our community,” Kawocha said.
Dennis Gore, a local business owner who runs a small guesthouse, echoed her sentiments.
“Tourism was hit hard during the winter, with only a handful of visitors,” the entrepreneur said.
“However, we’re excited about the changing seasons. As temperatures rise, we foresee a surge in tourists eager to explore Kariba’s natural wonders once again,” Gore added.
Jack Georges, a young guide working in the tourism industry, is also hopeful the imminent end of winter brings hope.
“The rising temperatures will undoubtedly attract more tourists to Kariba, allowing us to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our town. We are eager to share our hospitality and revive the local economy,” he said.
In addition to its natural beauty, wildlife and being a fishing hub, Kariba boasts the world’s largest man-made lake, with a similar name.
Its dam wall, at 128 metres, is also an attraction.
– CAJ News