Companies and other businesses must embrace the national clean-up campaign seriously and dedicate at least an hour of the first Friday of every month to cleaning their environs, President Mnangagwa has said.
The national clean-up campaign was everyone’s responsibility if the country was to achieve its goals of a clean environment in line with Vision 2030.
The President was addressing industrialists, company chief executives, employees and residents after leading a clean-up campaign in Kwekwe.
He noted the complacency among the companies to dedicate a clean-up campaign day every month around their working environment.
Government would soon be forced to give a directive to companies to comply with the new norm if they do not change the attitude.
“We have company chief executives here, captains of industry. We asked them that every first Friday of the month, they must find time to clean their working environment together with their employees. At least an hour and a maximum of two hours.
“Some companies are doing it and others are not. So don’t force me to start forcing you because I can do it,” said the President.
The President also said there was need by local authorities to accelerate the promotion of recycling initiatives in the country in line with the targets set by National Development Strategy 1.
The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, said the President, should work on finalising the framework on new waste management guidelines for local authorities to begin to implement the concept and promote a clean environment.
“Over and above this, it invites increased financial material infrastructure and technical investments in the recycling industry that is taking shape. Furthermore, an enabling
environment to support sustainable solid waste management, refuse collection and other support services by local authorities is imperative,” he said.
A clean environment, the President said, was everyone’s responsibility and the clean up campaign launched early in his Presidency should continue to be adhered to by all and sundry.
“We commenced this programme to keep our country clean. In December last year, we did the clean-up in Bulawayo to mark the third anniversary. We all know that in between we were visited by the Covid-19 pandemic and we stopped engaging in the clean-up campaign because we did not know how to deal with the pandemic back then.
“We didn’t understand how to do the clean-up campaign with the pandemic in our midst. We now know that the pandemic has become the norm; it’s the new normal. We can now work in the presence and prevalence of Covid-19 pandemic. This is witnessed by the way you are masked up in compliance with the WHO regulations and I thank you,” said the President.
He said all cities, towns, growth-points and rural communities should strive to promote clean environments.
“I call upon every one, our local authorities, growth points, villages, to scale up their participation in this initiative which will culminate in a litter-free Zimbabwe. There are also other economic benefits which accrue from the programme anchored on waste minimisation and efficiency,” he said.
Mothers, the President said, should take a leading role in cleaning the environment which he said will be a reflection of their homes.
“I am happy to see that mothers and women are here. This cleanliness we want is not just for urban areas. But it must start from the home environment.
“When we were growing up, our mothers and sisters would wake up and sweep the yard and clean the houses. The fathers, and boys were looking after the livestock.
“So mothers, we don’t want cockroaches in our homes. These pests invade your homes because of uncleanliness. It is because when you cook and eat at night, you don’t clean the dishes which gives them a feeding and breeding ground. You must always make sure that before you sleep, the kitchen is clean and that way there is no breeding environment for the cockroaches,” said the President.
He said the world was battling climate change mainly due to poor environmental management skills.
“We were in Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP conference where all the countries in the world met because we are now affected by climate change which has resulted in the rise of temperatures and change in weather conditions. That was started by the industrialised countries which were using coal to produce electricity.
“Developed countries which are the main perpetrators of climate change now want us to stop using coal to produce electricity but we argued we needed to agree on what to do to have green energy like solar in terms of funding,” he said.