‘Don’t ignore environment issues’
DEVELOPMENT partners should prioritise environmental programming in order to address socio-economic and environmental challenges that Manicaland Province is facing, an official has said.
Speaking at a first quarter development review meeting held in Mutare recently, Manicaland provincial administrator Mr Edgars Seenza expressed concern over the tendency by duty bearers to neglect environmental issues by leaving them out in their programming.
“There is a trend in which office bearers overlook environmental management with the assumption that they are not as important as other economic or social issues forgetting that poor environmental management compromises the quality of life and is also responsible for worsening economic woes afflicting our province,” Mr Seenza said.
He added that poor environmental management affected livelihoods and escalated poverty.
“Abuse of the environment compromises the quality of life while commercialisation of resources has resulted in the pollution of the environment to a point where livelihoods have been destroyed.
“Cases that come to mind include pollution of Sakubva River and the Chiadzwa area. Poor management of our environment has been proven to escalate poverty as people end up destroying the environment instead of benefiting from it,” said Mr Seenza.
He added that there were cases of people discarding litter on the streets, as well as companies discharging effluent into water sources affecting its quality and posing serious health risks to communities.
In an interview, Mutare City council public relations officer Mr Spren Mtiwi (pictured below) said council regarded environmental management as of primary importance, as evidenced by the environmentally friendly initiatives and interventions they were undertaking.
“We have embarked on a massive clean-up campaign. We are trying to deal with the issues of pollution and refuse collection around the city.
“With regards to Sakubva River, we intervened and as most residents know, the river is heavily polluted since some companies were using it as a discharge point. We have managed to stop some of the culprits from this practice but it is still an ongoing process”, he said.
Provincial social welfare officer Mrs Charity Ndadzungira commended authorities such as the Environmental Management Agency for cultivating good environmental practices in communities as well as regulating and monitoring human processes to ensure that they did not affect the environment on a large scale.