Fuel Challenges Hit Vic Falls Council, Suspends Refuse Collection

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

MOST service vehicles belonging to the Victoria Falls Municipality have been grounded due to fuel shortages with council announcing it was suspending refuse collection until further notice.

Most of the fuel service stations have been without supplies for the past few days leaving the resort town in a precarious situation.

Victoria Falls has six fuel stations which mostly demand United States dollars from motorists and in some cases dealers purport not to have supplies while nefariously keeping the resource for those buying in foreign currency.

At any given time two or three fuel garages have fuel while others will be dry waiting for delivery.

On the other hand, the black market will be thriving as the illegal dealers usually have supplies on a daily basis where they sell in United States dollars albeit at a price above the pump price.

While the lockdown on public transport may have relieved fuel service stations of pressure, erratic deliveries have been affecting supplies in the tourism town.

The situation worsened last week after the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) increased the price of fuel by over 30%.

The fuel situation in Victoria Falls is compounded by distance as dealers usually supply other towns before spreading out to Hwange and the resort town.

Most council service vehicles have not been visible on the streets since last week. This includes the sole refuse truck that does weekly service in Mkhosana and Chinotimba high density suburbs and twice a week in the low density areas.

Residents have complained about wild animals such as baboons and hyenas emptying bins in front of gates as they scavenge for food, raising fears of a health hazard.

No refuse collection has been done since last week.

In a statement, the local authority management confirmed it was facing fuel challenges.

“Victoria Falls Municipality wishes to advise its residents and stakeholders that due to fuel shortages there have been delays in collection of refuse. While council awaits the return of normalcy in the fuel delivery, residents are encouraged not to place their refuse bins outside along streets as this may lead to littering by wild animals. The inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted,” read the statement.

The council said it will notify residents when normal service will resume.