A clean environment is an anchor for economic growth—Acting President

The Chronicle

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga has implored Zimbabweans to continue with the journey towards achieving a clean, safe and healthy environment saying it is a strong anchor for a growing economy and promotes environmental stewardship.

He made the remarks during a national clean-up campaign in Redcliff on yesterday.

In December 2018, the Second Republic set aside the first Friday of every month as National Clean-up Day as Government seeks to create a clean and conducive working and investment environment.

It is in this regard that Government departments, corporates, companies, the businesses community and individuals gathered at Redcliff Shops to clean up the area to mark the official start of the clean-up campaigns for the year 2023.

Dignitaries also planted trees in Redcliff and Torwood as Government continues to encourage tree planting as a way of averting deforestation and counter effects of climate change.

In a speech read on his behalf by Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, Acting President Chiwenga said the national clean-up campaign is an important event on our calendar and is “here to stay.”

He said a clean environment coupled with vast natural resources that are abundant in the country, will drive the country to greater heights, adding that there is a need to utilise natural resources in a responsible manner.

“Economic development can only be achieved if we utilise natural resources in a sustainable manner and ensure that waste is handled in a manner that does not lead to pollution. Let us guard our natural capital jealously and work towards promoting a circular economy,” he said.

He called on local authorities to play a leading role in coming up with waste management strategies.

“I, therefore, call upon our local authorities to ensure that they install waste management infrastructure at all service centres. Business community and corporates have to work together with local authorities in setting waste management infrastructure, especially waste recycling cages,” said Acting President Chiwenga.

He said corporates should take the lead in protecting the environment.

“I challenge the corporate world across the country to take centre stage and be at the forefront of greening the environment in the face of climate change and ever-increasing land degradation and pollution. Industries should adopt environmentally friendly packaging as well as developing synergies that promote the repurposing of waste materials,” he said.

Government envisages a situation where the production process is done in a sustainable manner which does not leave communities worse off.

“Communities should not be left worse off than they were before due to pollution, land degradation and exposure to the vagaries of climate change. It is my hope and wish that the private sector should not wait for the Government to be always thinking of tightening legislation as a way of sustainably managing the environment. Those who produce and never care to adopt mechanisms to invest in post-consumer waste should start thinking                                                                         around waste management,” said the Acting President.

“The recycling industry has not been fully developed which discouraged some of the community-based organisations who have to transport waste to far places like Harare and South Africa. We therefore need to invest more in the recycling value chain to make it more attractive to community members especially women and youth.”

The Acting President also urged local authorities to prioritise collection of garbage and avoid illegal dumping.

“If waste is collected as scheduled, illegal dumping will be a thing of the past. Local authorities also have to enforce by-laws and those who flout environmental regulations to book,” he said.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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