Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has called on Zimbabweans to promote sustainable waste management practices and initiatives in a bid to keep a clean environment.
Speaking at the National Environment Cleaning Day campaign at Glen View 1 Shopping Centre in Harare yesterday, VP Mohadi said promoting sustainable waste management benefited the country economically as it will “create investment opportunities in waste management projects and green jobs”.
“These may include energy recovery initiatives such as biogas, and recycling, among others,” he said. “A clean environment also attracts tourists, resulting in job creation and foreign currency generation.”
VP Mohadi said industry should consider investing in the phasing out of the single-use plastic bags that have become a serious environmental problem.
“We need to conform to global trends of reducing plastic pollution by giving ourselves up to December 2020 to eliminate and phase out single-use plastics,” he said. “To date, over 60 countries in the world have either banned or restricted single-use plastics and over 30 of these countries are in Africa.”
VP Mohadi said with over 200 000 clean-ups having been carried out across the country since the programme’s launch last year, a culture of cleanliness was now guaranteed.
“Let it, therefore, be kept in mind that as a nation, we are committed to live in a clean environment,” he said, before he rallied citizens to escalate the clean-up campaign.
He said cleanliness needed to be synchronised with other programmes such as sport and arts.
VP Mohadi said the adoption and increased participation in the National Environment Cleaning Day programme was a step in the right direction towards curbing problems arising from poor waste management such as water-borne diseases that continue to claim lives in the country.
He said the rainy season will be coming soon, making a strong case for the nation to guard against waste accumulation in the environment to prevent the outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid, malaria, and cholera.
“We also need to ensure that we target areas that pose a higher potential for diseases outbreak in our next few monthly clean-up exercises to alleviate this challenge,” VP Mohadi said.
He implored citizens, who had not started cleaning their environments, to embraced the national clean-up campaign and ensure that they did so everyday.
“May I remind the nation that the National Clean-Up Day should be part of our culture, hence I am calling all Zimbabweans to embrace it,” he said. “We need to further train ourselves in good hygienic and environmentally positive habits. The clean-up should not be a one-day affair, but a culture for everyone.
“Adoption of streets, or roads by corporates has become the most recent way of corporate social responsibility demonstrated by the private sector the world over. I appeal to the corporate world to step forward and adopt roads or portions and not only clean them up, but also green them up.”
VP Mohadi applauded the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for working with universities to come up with appropriate designs for landfills suitable for local authorities.
He urged local authorities to quickly consider the establishment of a properly lined landfill, as is the case in Kadoma and Norton.