The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management says it has embarked on a programme to resuscitate boreholes at Hwange National Park to avoid a shortage of water during the dry season which resulted in the death of more than 80 elephants and 25 buffalos within a period of three months last year.The ministry last year lost more than US$1.6million worth of elephants which succumbed to heat between months of August and October last year.
Out of 60 boreholes at the park, the 39 that were working could not meet demand for water for an estimated 60 000 elephants and other wild life and the limited resources suffered more pressure when the country began to experience an influx of elephants from Botswana during the same period.
Minister Francis Nhema confirmed that his ministry has embarked on the programme to increase the number of boreholes at Hwange National Park to make them more efficient and pump more water in order to avoid the situation that was experienced last year.
He added that there is also a need to ensure that no damage is caused on the ecosystem during the process.
He said his ministry has also noted that rains that have been experienced so far may not be adequate hence the need to speed up the exercise to ensure that all boreholes are pumping at the start of the dry season which might come earlier due to erratic rainfall patterns.
The park, which covers 14 600 square kilometres, is the biggest in the country and is home to the big five.
Any challenges that may directly result in the death of wildlife would severely affect the tourism sector which is wildlife-based.