President calls for corporates to adopt green spaces Plastic pollution is one of the greatest man-made threats to Zimbabwe’s environment

Herald Reporters

Corporates should be able to adopt green open spaces with backing from local authorities as a way of discouraging mushrooming of illegal dumpsites and areas of overgrown grass and vegetation, President Mnangagwa said yesterday on the June national clean-up day.

The President made the call in a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Presidential Affairs and Monitoring of Government Programmes Dr Jorum Gumbo during the clean-up of Dema business centre, Mashonaland East.

“In a way, we will increase the aesthetic value of our environment and even transform some of these areas into recreational facilities for the local and foreign tourism,” he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, it takes a committed and united citizenry to create the future we want, such as a clean environment.

“Plastic pollution is now a menace the world over. It has adverse impacts on the environment, agriculture, aquatic life and wildlife. As a nation, we are slowly feeling the impacts of plastic pollution through the clogging of storm drains leading to flash floods, especially in our cities.

“My Government is committed to preventing plastic waste accumulation and pollution by contributing to regional and global efforts currently being undertaken. The time for transformation and taking action on plastic pollution is now. Let us all opt for environmentally friendly options and reduce use of plastic and save our environment from pollution.”

One simple way of reducing plastic pollution is through the use of alternatives such as eco-bags and baskets when shopping.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was moving towards phasing out certain types of plastics such as the single use plastics.

The President emphasized the need to embrace waste management through recycling and called for the promotion of sustainable waste management by all.

“Local authorities are still mandated to regularly collect refuse in their areas of jurisdiction in line with best practices of integrated solid waste management,” he said.

“We ought to embrace sustainable business models to solid waste management through recycling, waste to energy initiatives, taking waste as a resource and industrial inter-dependence.

“The devolution agenda should further empower sub-district structures in readiness for the promotion and practice of sustainable waste management from household level to all rural service centres and growth points alike.”

President Mnangagwa said the nation was urbanising, therefore, local authorities should incorporate waste management plans.

In Chinhoyi, Zanu PF Vice President and Second Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi said the trajectory being taken by Zimbabwe to attain an upper middle income class by 2030 was achievable if citizens treat the environment in a friendly fashion.

He made the remarks after leading Mashonaland West’s 43rd clean-up day which was held at Pfungwa Dzakanaka Shopping Centre in Chinhoyi’s Chikonohono suburb.

“The growth of our economy depends on the manner we treat our environment,” Cde Mohadi.

“Our inspirations of achieving an upper middle income economy by year 2030 should never be appreciated in isolation of the cleanliness of our environment.

“I urge you as Mashonaland West province to be lead agents towards a clean environment. As a nation, Zimbabwe aspires litter-free towns, litter-free resorts, litter-free ports of entry and most importantly, litter-free highways and access roads.”

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the 1971 Ransar Convention on Wetlands which gives the nation an obligation to conserve wetlands, he noted.

Wetlands work as sponges that store water and control floods and carbon sinks that purify and supply water to water sources such as streams and dams.

Cde Mohadi challenged councils to embrace the national clean-up programme and view it as a springboard towards attaining the aesthetic value and health-friendly environments in their areas.

Cde Mohadi, Cde Mary Mliswa-Chikoka and Chinhoyi mayor Councillor Garikai Dendera planted Kenyan Croton trees at Chinhoyi Civic Centre as part of preserving the environment.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Kindness Paradza was among the senior Government officials and party officials that attended the event. In Beitbridge, scores of residents and civil servants converged to clean up Ha Mbedzi Business Centre in Tshithauze suburb yesterday.

The area, which is home to the bulk of the western suburbs population, is one of the many areas that suffered many cases of cholera in 2008.

In Mashonaland Central, the Environmental Management Agency’s manager Mr Robert Rwafa said the national clean-up campaign had received overwhelming support from residents and stakeholders.

This was evidenced especially in Glendale where residents have taken it upon themselves to voluntarily clean-up the urban centre every Monday. Mr Rwafa advised the community to venture into recycling to unlock financial value from waste.

He said although the focus was on rural service centres, the campaign was carried out in all urban centres.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Monica Mavhunga who lead the clean-up campaign thanked the community for coming out in their numbers to support the programme.

Council chairperson for Mazowe Rural District Council Mr John Mudzonga said the local authority bought a refuse compactor using devolution funds to enhance collection of refuse in Glendale and at Nzvimbo Growth Point.

Sungura musician Mark Ngwazi provided entertainment at the event.

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