BULAWAYO, Monday, November 25, 1991 — The water shortage affecting animals in the Hwange National Park is due to the large number of broken down water pump engines, a senior official in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management has said.
Contacted for comment on the water shortage, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a considerable number of engines used to pump water were not working as a result of shortages of spares.
“Hwange has 65 boreholes, but a sizeable number are not working at the moment because there are no spare parts. Most of the engines are very old so they break down constantly. Getting spares is very difficult,” he said.
He said the problem was compounded by the fact that hundreds of elephants were streaming into the park from neighbouring Botswana.
The engines that were still operating could not pump enough water to meet increased demand. The prolonged drought was also a contributing factor because most drinking pans had dried up, he said.
The Hwange area has very few rivers to provide drinking water for animals so they depend largely on borehole water and drinking pans.
Farmers in the Hwange area early this week expressed concern at the water situation in the park. They said unless enough rains fell soon, many animals would die.
However, the official in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management said there was nothing his department could do as it did not receive enough money from central government.