Zero tol­er­ance to lit­ter as ED launches clean-up cam­paign

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Mu­gabe and Ne­sia Mhaka

PRES­I­DENT Mnan­gagwa yes­ter­day de­clared the first Fri­day of each cal­en­dar month, the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Clean­ing Day, as his Gov­ern­ment moves to en­sure that the coun­try has sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment man­age­ment and waste dis­posal sys­tems.

He made the dec­la­ra­tion as he of­fi­cially launched the na­tional clean-up cam­paign in Harare and signed a dec­la­ra­tion to this en­deav­our.

The na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal clean­ing across the coun­try will be car­ried out be­tween 8AM and 10AM.

Themed “Zero tol­er­ance to lit­ter: my en­vi­ron­ment my pride”, the na­tional clean-up cam­paign launch was also at­tended by the First Lady Amai Ax­ilia Mnan­gagwa, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s two deputies Dr Con­stantino Chi­wenga and Cde Kembo Mo­hadi, De­fence and War Vet­er­ans Min­is­ter Op­pah Muchin­guriKashiri and sev­eral Cab­i­net Min­is­ters.

Launch­ing the cam­paign, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa stressed the im­por­tance of unity and har­mony to keep the en­vi­ron­ment clean.

He said Gov­ern­ment had set aside De­cem­ber 5 of ev­ery year to plant trees coun­try­wide and to re­mind each other the im­por­tance of keep­ing the en­vi­ron­ment clean.

“Let us be united. Let us love peace. Let us love har­mony. Let us work to­gether. Let us clean our na­tion, clean our en­vi­ron­ment to­gether. Let us be to­gether in broad day­light, at night, dur­ing chal­lenges and let us be to­gether. Gore ren­zara tak­a­batana, gore remaguta tak­a­batana, gore re­sarudzo tak­a­batana,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

“The world we live in is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing rapidly due to the dire con­se­quences of climate change which man­i­fest as floods, heat waves, dis­eases, water and air pol­lu­tion, land degra­da­tion and de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion among other chal­lenges.

“Th­ese de­vel­op­ments re­quire us to take bold and de­ci­sive ac­tion with re­gards to the man­age­ment of our en­vi­ron­ment of en­sur­ing a clean en­vi­ron­ment. We need to keep our vil­lages, towns and cities clean and hy­gienic, both for this gen­er­a­tion and gen­er­a­tions to come.

“We must there­fore be re-ori­ented to prac­tice good en­vi­ron­men­tal and waste man­age­ment through in­creased ad­vo­cacy, ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and aware­ness. We must do this from a place of pride not just a ne­ces­sity.

“Fur­ther­more, it is im­por­tant to be alive to the need for the sound man­age­ment of chem­i­cal waste, solid waste as well as elec­tronic and plas­tic waste, for the pro­tec­tion of hu­man health, flora and fauna.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa urged young peo­ple to be in­no­va­tive and ex­plore ways of ex­tract­ing value from the waste prod­ucts.

In this re­gard, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa urged the women and the youths to form groups that can start projects us­ing waste prod­ucts as was the case in other coun­tries.

“I, thus call for greater use of new tech­nolo­gies and ap­pli­ca­tion in the man­age­ment of all forms of waste and pol­lu­tion,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

“In ad­di­tion, young en­trepreneurs are en­cour­aged to be in­no­va­tive and ex­plore the im­mense busi­ness po­ten­tial in waste and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment.

“Equally, our ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions are en­cour­aged to scale up en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness pro­grammes within schools and in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing, on the im­por­tance of re­spect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and liv­ing in har­mony with na­ture. Equip­ping this fu­ture gen­er­a­tion with the nec­es­sary en­vi­ron­men­tal knowl­edge and skills will help in mit­i­gat­ing the ef­fects of climate change through en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion and con­ser­va­tion.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa noted that ur­ban cen­tres in Zim­babwe gen­er­ated about 165 mil­lion tonnes of waste per year, the bulk of which ended up in open il­le­gal dump site, ur­ban streams and wet­lands.

He said this had of­ten re­sulted in blocked drainage sys­tem, con­tam­i­nated sur­faces and un­der­ground water.

“The Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to up­hold and fur­ther en­vi­ron­men­tal rights through en­act­ment and pass­ing of laws which en­forces re­spon­si­ble waste man­age­ment be­hav­iour at in­di­vid­ual, house­hold and com­pany level,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

“It is manda­tory in terms of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act that ev­ery lo­cal authority de­vel­ops a Lo­cal En­vi­ron­men­tal Ac­tion Plan (LEAP).

“In this re­spect, it is com­mend­able that some lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have em­braced the LEAP’s pro­gramme and man­aged to con­struct prop­erly lined and well-en­gi­neered land fill sites. It is my Gov­ern­ment’s ex­pec­ta­tion that all other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties will fol­low suit.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said plas­tic ma­te­ri­als were the big­gest pol­lu­tants and urged whole­salers and re­tail­ers not to use plas­tic ma­te­ri­als for pack­ag­ing.

Ear­lier in the morn­ing, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa planted a Mushumha tree at State House which is the na­tional tree of the year.

The First Lady and the two VPs Dr Chi­wenga and Cde Mo­hadi also planted trees at State House.

En­vi­ron­ment, Tourism and Hospi­tal­ity In­dus­try Min­is­ter Prisca Mup­fu­mira said they were tar­get­ing to plant 15 mil­lion trees this year.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa ac­com­pa­nied by First Lady Aux­ilia Mnan­gagwa launch the clean up cam­paign in High­field, Harare, yes­ter­day. — (Pic­ture by Mem­ory Man­gombe)

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