Ema ups fight against il­le­gal im­port of haz­ardous sub­stances

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National/gender/health News - Clin­ton Moyo Sun­day News Re­porter

THE En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (Ema) has stepped up its col­lab­o­ra­tion with other State agen­cies such as po­lice and Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity (Zimra) in fight­ing the il­le­gal im­por­ta­tion and use of haz­ardous sub­stances in the coun­try.

Ema said the move has been taken to en­sure that the pub­lic has no ac­cess to sub­stances such as cyanide as they can make use of them in poach­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. This comes as some ele­phants have been killed through cyanide poi­son­ing in the Hwange Na­tional Park.

Ema Mata­bele­land North pro­vin­cial man­ager Mrs Chipo Mpofu-Zuze said the move was in­formed by past ex­pe­ri­ences which show that cyanide poi­son­ing has be­come a pop­u­lar method of poach­ing dur­ing the months of Au­gust, Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber in the prov­ince.

“Our main con­cern, how­ever, is the sub­stances which are com­ing in through un­des­ig­nated places and we also have a feel­ing that some haz­ardous sub­stances are com­ing in con­cealed in these trucks, oma­lay­it­sha (cross bor­der com­muters). You just see truck loads com­ing from South Africa through Beitbridge or Plumtree but what they will be car­ry­ing no one knows. But as far as the le­gal points are con­cerned, we have a well-crafted process of track­ing these sub­stances,” said Mrs Mpofu-Zuze.

She said Ema was work­ing with other arms of the State to en­sure that haz­ardous sub­stances do not get into the wrong hands.

“As you know the Govern­ment is push­ing for the ease of do­ing busi­ness, like­wise we have col­lab­o­rated with other en­ti­ties in­clud­ing the po­lice to make sure that we curb the danger­ous use of cyanide. We are also ap­peal­ing to the pub­lic to work with us by re­port­ing any spillages of these sub­stances but they should not get close to them,” she said.

The move­ment of haz­ardous sub­stances and haz­ardous waste into and through Zim­babwe is gov­erned by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act (CAP 20:27) as read with the Statu­tory In­stru­ments 12 of 2007, 10 of 2007, 77 of 2009, 99 of 2008, 5 of 2011 and other an­cil­lary reg­u­la­tion.

The new reg­u­la­tions re­quire im­port li­cences with Ema im­ple­ment­ing a track­ing sys­tem to as­cer­tain the des­ti­na­tion as well as the stor­age of such sub­stances. Im­porters are also re­quired to sub­mit monthly re­ports to Ema, spec­i­fy­ing the quan­ti­ties of what they would have brought into the coun­try.

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