Prominent Livingstone based tourism promoter Peter Jones has accused British Broadcaster Sky News of spreading false news about the state of the Victoria Falls.
At the height of a hot summer period in November, Sky News ran a series of reports about how climate change was affecting the Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world.
The broadcaster had dispatched its senior International Correspondent Alex Crawford to Zambia and Zimbabwe to report on how the Victoria Falls had become as a result of climate change.
The report alluded to the fact that the severe dryness of the Falls could scare away potential tourists.
But as the rainy season kicked in around early January, the Falls picked up its flow and is now almost reaching its peak levels.
And Mr Jones who is the immediate past Board Chairman of the Zambia Tourism Agency contacted Sky News requesting that the broadcaster does a follow up story on the wet Victoria Falls in order to give a balanced and updated account of the Falls.
“Sadly Skynews have decided not to take up my offer to bring Alex Crawford and her crew back to stay with us to balance up the negatives issues created by Alex Crawford’s various reports concerning the claims that the Victoria Falls might actually dry up altogether, that “we are going to lose this sight entirely”.
Mr Jones added, “The Falls were reduced to a trickle because it does this each year. Take this as fact from all of us who live in the area.”
“So we will have to go it without their assistance as the joint communities of Livingstone and Victoria Falls under one banner “The Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)” to continue to explain that all is well and perfectly normal on the mighty Zambezi River,” he said.
“I saw Sarah-Jane Mee on her show on Skynews tackling the CEO of Huawei on 28 Jan when she explained that she would put on her “journalist’s skeptical hat on” to question what he had said. One wonders why Alex Crawford didn’t do the same thing when she set about asking a few questions over the claims that the Victoria Falls might completely dry up, which would mean the Zambezi River would have to as well!”
Mr Jones said Zambians should take it upon themselves to correct the wrong impression created by Sky News.
“So, please everyone let’s get out there and totally refute the absurd notion that this is going happen. Let’s push on the terrible deforestation occurring upstream of the Falls in particular for this is a huge concern which will affect things. However, the rains are here, the river is rising, the Zambezi is higher than it was this time last year, and all this is happening as it does each year as per normal,” he said.