Cleanup the World Campaign/ World Tourism Day Commemorations in Victoria Falls

By Namo Chuma

In what has become an annual event, Environment Africa in partnership with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the Victoria Falls Green Fund and the Victoria Falls Municipality organized the Clean Up the World / World Tourism Day commemorations for Friday the 30th of September 2011 in Victoria Falls. Because Clean Up The World and World Tourism Day both fall during the month of September, it was decided some years ago to combine both days into a joint celebration, particularly as Victoria Falls is an international tourist destination.

The theme for 2011 Clean Up the World is “Our Place, Our Planet, Our Responsibility” inspiring communities to clean up, repair and conserve their environment.  The 2011 World Tourism Day was “Tourism Linking cultures” and this was celebrated by performances from cultural dance groups and local school children recited poems and gave speeches which were related to the themes of the two events.

The Victoria Falls Clean Up was sponsored by Environment Africa’s Victoria Falls Green Fund  through funds raised from the ‘green dollar’ initiative and green dollar monthly contributions from local businesses whilst the World Tourism Day was sponsored by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

An early morning start saw more than 60 companies, over 800 residents of the low and high density areas, tour operators, Rotarians, government departments, the local authority, school children and various other stakeholders coming together and cleaning more than 62 different sites in and around Victoria Falls.   Clean Up sites were allocated through the Green Fund co- ordinators and representatives from the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe.  The Central Business District was a hive of activity and there was an energetic camaraderie between the various companies in trying to ensure that their area was the most clean.

After the clean up exercise, all stakeholders regrouped in the town and joined in a march to the Victoria Falls Municipal ground to raise awareness within the local area of the critical need to protect our wildlife and the environment at large.

In a key note speech by a local councilor on behalf of the Mayor of Victoria Falls who was unable to attend due to prior commitments, he urged residents to keep the town of Victoria Falls clean and thanked all the stakeholders who had participated.   A representative from the hospitality industry concluded the occasion by asking local residents to be ambassadors of the environment and to continue to keep Victoria Falls a ‘green’ tourist destination.

Since publication of last week’s article on Harare and Mutare’s clean ups, we have received a Clean Up Registration through Environment Africa’s website for Kadoma.  Remember, ‘think globally, act locally’ for a better environment and a better future.

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