from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – TOURISM operators in Victoria Falls are advocating for a ban on plastic as an effort turn the city into the cleanest in Africa.
Plastic constitutes over 80 percent of solid waste in the resort city.
Calls or its ban come as hoteliers and tour operators already have embraced waste separation at source concept.
Hotels are encouraged to have separate rubbish bins for biodegradable waste, bottles, metal and plastic.
The stakeholders established the Pristine Victoria Falls Society (PVFS) late last year in line with modern trends of greening tourism.
The committee is mobilizing various stakeholders including government departments with a view of coming up with common position with regards to environment management.
“Our single biggest objective is to work with Environmental Management Agency, Ministry of Environment, Victoria Falls City Council and other players to introduce a total single use plastic ban pilot scheme in Victoria Falls, as plastic constitutes over 80 percent of our litter mass,” said Mike Davis, leader of the PVFS.
He was speaking when the committee led a clean-up exercise around Victoria Falls, particularly the rainforest, central business district and main highway to the airport.
Sprucing Victoria Falls to the cleanest city is in line with government’s environment policy where the first Friday of every month was declared national clean-up day since 2019.
Davis noted Victoria Falls City footprint’s was about 2 000 hectares and home to one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders.
“It is also a wildlife paradise. We believe we need to get this right for the sake of future generations and to set an example to the rest of the country,” he added.
Currently, 26 schools in Victoria Falls as well as other stakeholders have joined the Pristine city initiative.
This entails cleaning a radius of 50 metres in one’s area of operation on a daily basis to keep the city clean.
The committee wants the local authority and government to review by-laws and make it punishable to dump litter.
Stiffer penalties are proposed.
Chipo Mpofu, Environmental Management Agency provincial manager, said haphazard dumping of litter was a danger to wildlife and environment hence affects tourism.
She said the agency would enforce the Environmental Management Act, which prohibits littering.
Transporters are discouraged from having litter thrown from vehicles.
Victoria Falls City Council is already courting investors to fund its strategic plan through which it hopes to apply the clean city status concept.
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is said to be the cleanest city in Africa.
– CAJ News