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Zimbabwe - According to the UN: the Victoria Falls are 'at risk' Home > Archive > Editorials

By Christopher Thompson

The Independent January 7, 2007 Original article: 'Victoria Falls' at risk', UN warns "

Their World Heritage status could be revoked when
Zimbabwe and Zambia are competing for tourism revenues

Victoria Falls, one of the greatest wonders of the world, may cease to be classified as Patrimony of Humanity, as a result of the chaos of Zimbabwe.

Known locally as Mosi oa Tunya or "the smoke that thunders", the falls are more than a mile wide and is 140 meters high. They have been a tourist destination since 1905, but Unesco is now considering placing on the list of "endangered" sites because of mismanagement, because of the deterioration of the resort.

In addition, Zambia overzealous developers proposing to build 500 chalets in a national park overlooking the falls, causing warnings to the effect that the plan could lead Unesco to immediately withdraw this site's ranking in the World Heritage .

Control of Victoria Falls, named by the explorer David Livingstone in 1855, is the center of a turf war between two government bodies - the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe and Management Department of National Parks and Wildlife - fighting one against the other to manage one of the last remaining sources of tourist revenue value, while the hyper-inflation reached 1100%.

The Zambezi River, which plunges the falls, forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Most Western tourists usually stay on the Zimbabwean side, attracted first-class amenities such as Victoria Falls hotels and Elephant Hills. But the surrounding decay and security fears after the often violent seizures of land, initiated by President Robert Mugabe, saw tourism revenues plunge by more than 70% to $ 98m [€ 74m] last year, so that If they were $ 340m [€ 256m] in 1999, prior to the beginning of the agrarian reform.

Unesco is also concerned about Zambia's efforts to benefit from the turmoil in Zimbabwe. In a reversal of the traditional position, most foreign visitors are now approaching the falls from the Zambian side, even if the view is less spectacular. The tourism industry in Zambia is booming, with the number of foreign arrivals has doubled between 2003 and 2005, bringing the country a particularly necessary income, and new hotels rising from the ground near the Zambian town of Livingstone .

Translated from English by [JFG-QuestionsCritiques]

Nature Parks CHOBE RIVER Botswana
Movie ()
2005-06-12 18:57:19 by Zimbabwe

Part 2

Mr Mugabe shows no sign of following Pol Pot's personal example and moving to a rural mud hut. He continues to live in majesty in an expensive district of Harare, where a strict 6pm-to-6am curfew ensures no one can so much as approach the perimeter wall. Until yesterday, Beauty and her family had lived in a one-room house with mud walls and a corrugated iron and thatched roof. They were one of u...o the majority of the urban poor - have been emptied and burned. Trudy Stevenson, an MP with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, witnessed hundreds of people being loaded on to trucks and sent one way, while their possessions were taken elsewhere. The government insists that their campaign, dubbed "Murambatsvina", or "drive out trash", was a long-overdue purge of the informal economy.

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