THE Pristine Victoria Falls Society has said awareness campaigns on the need to keep the resort city clean are bearing fruit with about 80 percent of businesses now meeting basic waste management requirements.
Stakeholders in Victoria Falls in 2021 formed the PVFS, an initiative established with the goal of making Victoria Falls the cleanest city in Africa, in line with modern trends of greening tourism.
Organisations were allocated portions of the Victoria Falls-Hwange highway from the mighty Victoria Falls Rainforest to the airport, around the central business district and industrial area and suburbs, picking litter and all garbage in sight.
This comes in the wake of concerns by environmentalists and some tour operators about deliberate littering along the country’s highways which is an eyesore to the environment and health hazard to people and wildlife.
The PVFS recently established a waste management taskforce comprising of PVFS, Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Victoria Falls City Council and police.
A number of individuals and businesses have been ticketed by the task force for littering the environment.
The initiative collects 5 000 bags of garbage from the streets every month. Campaign manager Douglas Musiringofa said litter bug behaviour is slowly changing in Victoria Falls.
“Today 26 bags were collected from the truck stop. Residents and informal traders had dug a huge pit near truck stop along airport road and dumped garbage so they have been ordered to clear it and fill the pit,” said Musiringofa in an update to the stakeholders.
He said tickets had been issued to litterbugs in the central business district and high-density suburbs through the waste management task force.
Two business firms were ordered to stop operations until basic waste management requirements are met and one shop was ordered to discontinue utilization of a pit behind premises and fill it.
“More than 80 percent of businesses visited now have bins and are meeting basic waste management requirements. Waste management committees being formed at all businesses centres and all major roads have now been adopted for cleaning,” said Musiringofa.
Digging pits and burning waste is illegal and attracts a fine of US$25 from the council and US$50 from the environmental management agency.
The PVFS has said every citizen has a duty to keep environment clean and look at these places.
Poor waste management is one of the biggest headaches for many urban areas countrywide and in the region, as citizens continue to disregard the provisions of the law by illegally dumping litter.
Streets in some urban areas are littered with various kinds of garbage including paper, residues from farm and vegetable products sold on the streets by vendors, packaging of goods bought in shops, plastic and others.
Victoria Falls is rated as one of the cleanest urban areas in the country.