Tendai Rupapa in Mutare
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans not to wait for every first Friday of the month but to treat every day as National Environment Cleaning Day.
The First Lady, who is the national environmental patron, said this in Mutare yesterday where she left the residents, mostly vendors at Sakubva Bus Terminus, awestruck when she swept and cleared heaps of garbage, giving the terminus a new face.
She was accompanied by Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira and Minister of State for the Province Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.
President Mnangagwa designated the first Friday of every month as National Environment Cleaning Day and the First Lady, who is also the health ambassador, has always been on the forefront of fighting diseases like cholera and typhoid ensuring a culture of cleanliness.
After the cleaning exercise, the First Lady proceeded to Meikles Park where she addressed residents.
“As the patron of this monthly clean-up, I avail myself to champion and partner with all stakeholders who have a passion to see the fulfilment of Section 73 of the Constitution which calls for a clean, safe and healthy environment,” she said.
“Zimbabwe as a country has witnessed outbreaks of cholera and typhoid associated with unclean environment resulting in a number of fatalities recorded since 2008 to 2018.
“I encourage all stakeholders to embrace best practices and self-regulation as a cornerstone to a clean, safe and healthy environment. A healthy environment eradicates the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid.”
She said it was everyone’s responsibility to participate in the National Environment Cleaning Day.
“The active participation of all stakeholders is key to the success of this programme. Every citizen between the ages of 10 and 65 should clean their surrounding areas, places of work, religion, education, recreational and residential premises, vending sites and car parks by picking up litter, sweeping or cleaning waste dumps. If a person is above 65 years and is willing to work, they are able to participate in this public cleaning.
“Today in all the cities, the Ministry of Environment, the city council, churches, private sector and various stakeholders have taken it up to ensure that we embark on this special exercise so that we instil discipline and responsibility as citizens in keeping our environment clean.”
She also said that as long as the environment remained unclean and contaminated, the outbreak of water-borne diseases would continue to be hazardous to lives.
The First Lady further said it was important for the country to have a sustainable waste disposal system.
“Complementary efforts are required from the general public and local authorities in order to complete the chain of action and ensure participation by all in waste management.
“Communities have a role to play on this by reporting sewage bursts to the responsible authorities who have the obligation to swiftly respond. As the First Lady and patron of environment, I am calling upon on the women and youths to form groups and start projects using waste products. Let us all be innovative and explore ways of extracting value from the waste products,” she said.
Last year, the First Lady visited homes in Budiriro and Glen View, Harare, where she carried out household chores in a bid to instil a culture of cleanliness in society.
She took the Clean Homes Campaign to Mashonaland West Province where she visited families as part of her drive to promote cleanliness and hygienic practices to curtail the spread of water-borne diseases.
“In 2018 I initiated clean-up campaigns in Harare working with various ministries and the corporate world in an endeavour to promote cleanliness at household level and surrounding environments. I am encouraging you residents of Sakubva suburb and the whole of Mutare to also do the same,” she said.
“Madzimai pese pandinofamba ndinenge ndichingofunga nyaya dzehutsanana munzvimbo dzedu dzatinogara. I am thinking of coming up with competitions in all provinces on cleanliness starting at household level where big prizes would be won.
“I am hereby encouraging Mutare City and Manicaland Province as a whole to scale up the cleaning we carried out today and continue the implementation of the clean-up campaign plan.
“I am bestowing the responsibility to the Minister of State for Manicaland, Mutare City Council, Ministry of Environment, line ministries, corporate world, churches and all the stakeholders to ensure that the clean-up campaigns are done as per the commitment that was stated at the launch in December last year.
“You are also to ensure that behavioural change in terms of litter handling and management is instilled in all of us. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we stay in a clean and habitable environment. Let us all embrace and put into practice our theme: ‘Zero tolerance to litter, my environment, my pride’.”
The First Lady emphasised that her outreach programmes were non-partisan.
“I want to thank you the people of Manicaland for coming out in your numbers for this exercise. Semaziviro amunoita, ini handiite zvemapato kana zvematongerwo enyika, I am a mother who embraces everyone despite political affiliation, so feel free to work with me for the development of our country,” she said.
She took the opportunity to interact with vendors at Sakubva market and encouraged them to maintain hygienic practices. In response, the vendors thanked her for taking the lead.
Source : The Herald