ZIMBABWEANS from all walks of life yesterday participated in the eighth National Clean-Up Day following the declaration of the day by President Mnangagwa in December last year. Citizens, corporates and public officials participated in clean-up activities which fall on the first Friday of every month between 8am and 10am.
At Ruwa Shopping Centre, Vice-President Costantino Chiwenga urged law enforcements agencies to intensify their efforts in arresting those who litter and dump waste at undesignated places.
In a speech read on his behalf by the permanent secretary in his office, Cde Godfrey Chanakira, Vice-President Chiwenga said there is need for Zimbabweans to take the clean-up campaign programme seriously by adhering to the country’s laws.
“To complement the voluntary compliance of our citizens and keep our environment safe and clean, our law enforcement agencies must intensify their efforts in compliance monitoring against littering and dumping of waste at undesignated places as some among us will not voluntarily comply.
“Without enforcement of the law, all our efforts to preserve and keep our environment clean may sadly be fruitless,” said VP Chiwenga.
He called for the preserving and protection of the environment for the future generations.
“Our national Constitution provides every person with fundamental rights to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. The environment must be protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation, promote conservation and secure ecologically sustainable development of natural resources while promoting economic and social development,” he said.
“Let us all commit to practising sustainable waste management. We must willingly and collectively bring illegal dumping and littering to a quick end. As a nation, we need to seize all opportunities to buttress our economic development by proper waste management as we strive for upper-middle income status within the next 10 years.”
In Gweru, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi said generators of waste must follow their products from manufacturing up to disposal by adopting the extended producer responsibility as a means of addressing waste management.
VP Mohadi said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in his office, Davis Marapira.
“It is about time that industries adopt the extended producer responsibility principle which calls upon all generators of waste to follow their products from manufacture up to disposal so as to define a clear chain of custody.
“It would be disheartening to find post-consumer waste from companies to constitute litter without effort to follow it up. Companies should, however, incentivise communities to take back the post-consumer waste through a deposit system or running competitions,” he said.
VP Mohadi said Government will continue to pursue productive partnerships with the private sector in order to ensure inclusivity and greater action across the whole economy.
He implored citizens to practise sustainable waste management, adding that illegal dumping and littering must stop henceforth.
“I am happy to note that monitoring mechanisms of this programme are effectively being implemented in order to ensure intended results are achieved,” he said.
“I want to call upon those in law enforcement to intensify compliance monitoring against littering and dumping of waste in undesignated places.
“In this regard, I urge EMA to work closely with the police to enforce compliance. It is not fair for some of us to come out to clean in this manner while others continue to dump litter indiscriminately.”
Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said cleaning every first Friday of the month has now become a tradition such that people are now doing it voluntarily.
He was speaking after participating in a clean-up campaign at Kaguvi and Mkwati buildings in Harare.
“This practice has now sunk in people’s minds. You find that people are now voluntarily taking part in this initiative.
“Everybody now knows that every first Friday of the month is critical for general hygiene. Ultimately, this will help us combat hygiene-related diseases which are preventable such as cholera, typhoid and other diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr Moyo.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, represented by the director in her office, Mr Kennedy Mugarisanwa, said it was important for the country’s border posts to be clean as they were the first port of call for visitors and investors.
“As we receive investors and tourists through this border, it is upon us to ensure that this border area is clean and free from litter to portray a good image of our country Zimbabwe,” she said.
The main clean-up campaign programme in Mashonaland West was held in Kamwaza Shopping Centre in Raffingora, where Zvimba North legislator Cde Marrian Chombo was the guest of honour. She was joined by several provincial heads of Government and departments including EMA provincial education and publicity head Mr Munyaradzi Nhariswa and Mr Tendai Mautsi, who was representing the Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, who is out of the country on official business. Cde Chombo urged the community to participate in recycling programmes.
In Masvingo, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs headlined the provincial clean-up campaign at Nyika Growth Point.
The campaign was highly subscribed, with the business community in Bikita led by lithium miner Bikita Minerals, Bikita West National Assembly member Cde Elias Musakwa, traditional leaders led by chiefs Budzi and Marozva and Zanu-PF members joining in the campaign.
Minister Chadzamira highly commended the clean-up campaign as the most successful so far since the programme launch.
In Beitbridge, stakeholders led by officials from the Environmental Management Agency cleaned up Shule Shule Business Centre in Ward 5.
Solid waste has become a perennial headache for authorities in Beitbrige, with the municipality indicating it is collecting at least 700 tonnes monthly.