Lawrence Chitumba Mash Central Correspondent
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Martin Dinha has said investors should exploit the province’s limited and fast-depleting resources responsibly to improve people’s livelihoods, without unnecessarily damaging the environment.
In a speech read on his behalf by the provincial administrator, Mr Cosmas Chiringa, at a ceremony to commemorate the Provincial Africa Environmental Day at Gonono Primary School in Mbire District recently, Minister Dinha said for this to be done, there was need to alter consumption patterns to “do more and better with less”.
“The business as usual approach is no longer an option for us,” he said. “By becoming more conscious of the ecological impact of our actions and environmental consequences of the personal choices we make, we become agents of change.”
Minister Dinha said deforestation, soil erosion, veld fires, streambank cultivation, illegal mineral panning and water pollution were the most prominent environmental problems, which the world should fight.
“I am reliably informed that veld fires and streambank cultivation are the greatest challenges affecting this community and there is need for us to adequately prepare for the approaching fire season, which starts from July 1 to October 31 every year,” he aid.
“We should take responsibility to have a veld fire-free environment. As Government, we strongly believe veld fires can be prevented if we all choose to be responsible and mindful of the way we interact with the environment.”
Minister Dinha said there were several practices that could be adopted in the interest of environmental conservation, which include getting involved in sustainable beekeeping projects, instead of using fire to smoke out bees.
Other environmental conservation methods that can be adopted are ploughing back crop residue for organic manure, instead of using fire to clear land, keeping small livestock such as rabbits, pigeons and chicken, instead of using fire to hunt.
Africa Environment Day is also known as Wangari Maathai Day, a day that was created by the African Union in 2003 to promote environmental awareness and the exchange of information between countries on issues of common concern.