Elita Chikwati in Binga
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged the Binga community to take advantage of the Integrated Environmental Schools Project to enhance their skills, boost income and improve their well-being.
The programme seeks to promote the economic empowerment of communities through sustainable management of the environment.
While officially launching the project at Manyanda Secondary School, the First Lady, who is also the national environment patron, said as a mother she was willing to work with communities to ensure a brighter future. The Integrated Environmental Schools project helps schools raise fees for their pupils through fish farming.
“These projects do not only benefit schools, but parents can also earn an income. Parents can also practice fish farming at home and earn an income,” the First Lady said.
She also encouraged the community to ensure their environment was clean and urged them to participate in the national clean-up on the first Friday of every month.
In a speech read on her behalf by the director in her office Mr Joseph Shoko, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Prisca Mupfumira said forests were important to the well-being of the nation as they acted as carbon sinks and also absorbed excess carbon dioxide thereby controlling global warming which contributes to climate change.
“Communities should engage in fish farming for poverty alleviation, creation of employment and promotion of good nutrition,” she said.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude and said they were going to embrace the programme.
Mrs Tenjiwe Muzamba of Pashu Village said she was happy that she could embark in fish farming.
“I am happy that instead of fishing from other dams I can establish my own dam at home and enjoy fish whenever I want, she said.
Mrs Selina Muleya of Manyanda village said the programme was good as it was offering a source of livelihood.
Meanwhile, the First Lady took the opportunity to discourage child marriages and domestic violence which she said affected children.