By Elvis Dumba
Nyabira, Zvimba – The First Lady, Dr. Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has called for investment in waste management to ensure a cleaner environment.
The First Lady, who is the country’s patron for the environment, was in Nyabira for the monthly national clean-up day where she led a waste cleaning and tree planting exercise.
The First Lady said it remained her desire to see every citizen religiously observing the clean-up for the safety of the general public and the integrity of the environment.
“I challenge all sectors of our economy to put in place strategies for sustaining this programme through adopting and adapting best waste management practices as we start the new year. Institutions, businesses, and individuals can also put additional resources and assist local authorities in maintaining clean environments as part of their corporate social responsibility. If we can’t do it ourselves, no one will do it for us,” she said.
“You will agree with me that waste management has become a national environmental challenge and Mashonaland West in general has not been spared from this menace. Waste continues to accumulate in undesignated places and even in places that have been cleaned before and this has negative impacts on our lives. Such impacts include health hazards, poor air quality, and loss of aesthetic value of our beautiful country,” she said.
Dr. Mnangagwa urged local authorities to take the lead and remain the vanguard of the national clean-up programme, ensuring that their waste management strategies resonate well with the dynamic and fast-changing waste management practices and religiously adopt them to meet the present and future.
“There is no reason for maintaining strategies that were working when populations and waste streams were low. Our society has changed due to modernisation and industrialisation hence we now have more urban dwellers and waste streams. It is time to rethink our waste management strategies and establish cost-effective models that are efficient and sustainable. I call upon all citizens to adopt and implement sound waste management strategies taking on board what works best for our different areas.”
Dr. Mnangagwa implored local authorities such as Zvimba Rural District Council and various organisations to have their annual waste management plans in place and ready for implementation.
“I, therefore, urge Zvimba Rural District Council to be proactive in response to waste management challenges through the construction of appropriate waste disposal facilities at service centres within their area of jurisdiction.
“On the same note, may I also encourage you to put in place mechanisms of promoting recycling initiatives in line with the national discourse,” she said.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, paid tribute to the First Lady for her tireless efforts to protect the environment and maintain cleanliness.
“As Mashonaland West, we back the programmes that you always bring for us time and again. You bring cultural awareness and hygiene while encouraging us to live in clean environments. Cleanliness and the planting of trees are close to your heart and we shall keep our surroundings smart. I encourage the whole province to value the zero tolerance to litter campaign,” she said.
Deputy Minister for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Barbara Rwodzi, said her ministry said is working with areas that are growing into towns and cities such as Nyabira to remain smart and clean.
“For areas that are developing into towns and cities to combine with Harare, we have seen it fit to work with them and teach one another about protecting the environment through cleanliness and beautification of cities. The trees you have planted here today are the same ones we are using in all towns under the beautification initiative. Nyabira is one of the country’s growing areas, growing into Mt Hampden and eventually Harare, therefore, it has to always be smart.” she said.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) director-general, Mr. Aaron Chigona said they are targeting to plant over 20 million trees in the town and city beautification program nationwide.
ZANU (PF) Zvimba East Central Committee member, Francis Mkwangariwa, urged citizens to heed The First Lady’s call to keep the country clean
“As Zimbabweans, we need to rally behind calls from The First Lady, Dr. Auxilia Mnangagwa for a cleaner environment through ensuring we start from our own homes in cleanliness and we need to invest in best waste management practices, especially coming up with waste recycling initiatives as we need to save on land which is being taken up by dumpsites with some of them being put on undesignated areas as waste continues accumulating from homes and industries,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the national clean up event.