Precious Manomano Herald Reporter
The Government has pledged $200 million to support the restoration of degraded wetlands in the country to enhance water provision and livelihoods of various communities.
In an interview Environment Management Agency (EMA) director for environmental services Mr Steady Kangata said they are grateful to the Government for making efforts to restore wetlands saying they have the capacity to increase growth in the agriculture sector to meet the food demands.
“Now that we have certain wetlands that are degraded because of the various activities which are mainly human activities or anthropogenic, those degraded wetlands need to be restored and EMA has since submitted to Government the rolling plan that will lead to the restoration of such wetlands.
“We are happy that we are ready to restore such wetlands and it’s going to roll over to 2025. One of our priority areas in the NDS1 is to ensure sustainable management of wetlands. We will do our best to ensure that wetlands are restored,” said Mr Kangata.
He said that EMA has completed the mapping of all wetlands in the country saying this is crucial as it would assist in programming as well as decision making.
“We have successfully come up with a wetlands map of Zimbabwe. We have provisional maps as well as district wetlands maps that are web-based. We also have interactive maps which any person can use to see whether their area is a wetland or no.”
Mr Kangata said poor planning and illegal developments in wetlands coupled with poor stormwater drains on land suitable for building has seen 250 houses hit by flooding in Harare, another 1 500 in Chitungwiza and others in Mutare and Gweru.
Twenty-one percent wetlands in the country are stable, while 18 percent are severely degraded and 61 percent are in between or moderately degraded.