The Environment Management Agency (EMA) plans to declare Lake Chivero and Darwendale Dam, and their respective catchments, as ecologically sensitive areas in line with the need to uphold environmental rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
In a statement yesterday, EMA said the declaration serves to protect the two water bodies from pollution.
“It is hereby notified that in terms of section 113 (1) of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27), as read with section 7 (2) (a) of the Environmental Management (Effluent and Solid Waste Disposal) Regulations 2007 (Statutory Instrument 6 of 2007), the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry intends to declare Lake Chivero, Darwendale and their respective catchments as ecologically sensitive areas.
“This is in line with the need to uphold environmental rights as enshrined in sections 73 and 77 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The declaration serves to protect the two water bodies from pollution through the implementation of the precautionary principle and the enforcement of stringent pollution control measures.
“The declaration also seeks to facilitate the restoration of the ecological health of the water bodies allowing Harare and its satellite towns to continue enjoying the ecosystem services that they provide,” reads the statement.
The agency has since invited comments from the public about the developments.
The Environmental Management Act promotes sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, with Section 113 (1) directly stating that: “The Minister may declare any wetland to be an ecologically sensitive area and may impose limitations on development in or around such area.”
This section empowers the Minister of Environment to decide on the use of certain wetlands indicating that the decision of the minister is usually final and legitimate.