Defe Dopota set for tourists

Sukoluhle Ndlovu
Being one of Zimbabwea��s most celebrated wetlands, Defe Dopota is one wetland that has caught the attention of many around the globe.Defe Dopota, which means a wet land, is arguably one of the wetlands that have been put into good use as it boasts a number of projects such as gully reclamation, forest nursery, orchard establishment, fish production, bee keeping, cattle ranching, sheep rearing as well as goat rearing.

It is understood that the wetlands miraculously surfaced in the 1950s after the late Bishop and founder of ZCC Samuel Mutendi had settled on the site.

Though it has not been proven, scientists, however, believe that the ever increasing volume of water on the site is a result of an aquifer.

The engineer of Defe Dopota, Luke Mombe, said they believe that the ever increasing volume of water is a result of the aquifer that could be within the parameters of the place.

a�?We believe that the ever increasing volume of water found in this place is because of an aquifer that could be anywhere near this place.a�?

Since its establishment Defe now boasts three schools namely Defe secondary, Dopota primary as well as Mutendi primary.

Defe has a massive orchard with over 1 800 trees and over 10 different species.

Mombe said they are considering putting up a game park that will attract tourists from all over the world.

a�?At the moment we are working on making Defe a tourist attraction by structuring a game park. We will house wild animals like impala, elephants, lions, kudus as well as other animals. We are also in the process of building 40 houses that will house touristsa�?, said Mombe.

a�?In the near future we are also going to be operating on a commercial scale as there are plans of establishing a canning industry in this place. This will see us exporting much of our products to outside markets, a�? he added.

Wetlands directly improve and rejuvenate surrounding ecosystems. They are vital to the health of vegetation, wildlife and humans. Many animals that live in other habitats use wetlands for migration or reproduction. Wetlands also release vegetative matter into rivers, which helps feed fish.

Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much like a sponge does. By doing so, wetlands help to keep river levels normal and filter and purify the surface water. Wetlands help to control water levels. When the levels are low, wetlands slowly release water. Wetlands help to control soil erosion, floods, pollution, sediments and help in groundwater recharge.

Wetlands have always been recreational and aesthetic grounds. Tourists can visit wetlands to watch birds and other wildlife. Some wetlands can be good for fishing, hunting and fruit collecting.