The Victoria Falls municipality has been dumping raw sewage into the Zambezi River for over a year, after allegedly failing to deal with waste emanating from two of the country’s world renowned hotels — Victoria Falls and Kingdom.
The hotels are located on low-lying land and are not connected to the town’s sewer system because of gradient, meaning a powerful pump is needed to channel sewerage from the hotels up the gradient.
Instead, pipes have been laid to carry and pour sewage into the mighty river, between Rapid Four and Six. The area is popular with tourists for white water rafting.
Although senior council officials who included the mayor, town clerk, director of engineering services and public relations manager were reluctant to comment, sources in the resort town said the authorities had cited lack of financial resources for the failure to deal with the sewage problem.
A council official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed yesterday that raw sewage has been channelled into the river for more than a year now.
He said the pipes which linked the hotels to the municipality’s sewerage ponds had broken down resulting in effluent flowing into the river.
Africa Sun chief executive officer Shingi Munyeza professed ignorance over the issue and referred questions to the Victoria Falls Municipality, while the hotels’ management refused to comment.
“The best persons to comment would be the council. They are the ones who handle sewage,” Munyeza said.
Victoria Falls mayor Nkosilathi Jihane referred questions to the town’s engineer Sheren Sibanda.
However, Sibanda refused to comment, politely saying her job “is not to speak to the Press”.
She further referred questions to the municipality’s public relations manager, Nqabutho Moyo, who requested questions in writing.
After receiving the questions, he passed the matter to the town clerk, Godfrey Maphosa.
Maphosa was said to be in meetings most of yesterday before he was later said to have left the office.
NewsDay, however, has pictures taken two weeks ago of the raw effluent spilling into the river.