BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Tourism players in Victoria Falls are building about 520 blair toilets for Monde villagers who have been using bush system.

The move is meant to prevent an outbreak of cholera during the rainy season which could affect the tourism industry in the resort town.

Most of the villagers have never had toilets in their lifetime and were relieving themselves in the bush, increasing chances of waterborne disease outbreaks.

To avert disaster, tourism players decided to provide cement and roofing material for villagers to build toilets.

The village is about 11km on the outskirts of the resort town and is also popular with tourists who come to experience traditional village tours and the pole and dagga accommodation built by villagers popularly known as votels, derived from village hotels.

Monde Headman Dumisani Dingani Mpala, who is spearheading the project, yesterday confirmed the development.

“Yes, it’s true we have embarked on the project to build toilets for villagers. Monde has about 520 households and we are looking at each household to have its own toilet and desist from using the bush. These people have never had toilets since the time they settled in this area,” Mpala said.

“Tomorrow, we are looking at distributing cement to build the toilets for 200 households that already have bricks and toilet pits. This projects started in May, but practically we are starting tomorrow (today).”

He said tour operators in Victoria Falls were the ones who were assisting the villagers with materials for the project.

“When we came up with the project, we approached safari and tour operators in Victoria Falls with the proposal. After realising that our project was noble since an outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid would affect their tourism businesses, they decided to help us. These are the people who are supplying us with material to build these toilets,” he said.

In Zimbabwe, open defecation was said to be at 40%, according to a survey done in 2015.

When contacted for comment, Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators president Clement Mukwasi referred Southern Eye to Mpala for more details on the toilets project.