Government has expressed concern over an increase in sand poaching within Harare and surrounding areas, which has resulted in massive land degradation, which has now become death traps for both humans and animals.
Harare Development Provincial coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti recently said rising demand for bricks in the country has seen an adverse increase in sand poaching.
Mr Muguti said many of the informal brick making and sand sales businesses are disregarding mining and council by-laws regulations as they are simply destroying riverbeds and digging holes almost everywhere without care or remorse.
“Our laws should provide for mining claims for all brick making companies with clear guidelines on how to resuscitate the land back to its original state after one has exhausted the resource in question,” he said.
“Harare has many places, which are now inhabitable due to craters everywhere endangering livestock and people. Let me pronounce that it is time for the Harare citizens to rise and protect our wetlands, water bodies and recreational spaces within our communities.”
Mr Muguti said people must continue to engage with the Government, while holding it to account and all those voted into office for their role or ineffectiveness in addressing the plight of communities.
“You are and will always remain the first line of defence for our environment,” he said.
Mr Muguti said his office was ready to work hand in glove with all stakeholders in the identification of all illegal sand poaching.
“I encourage a collective approach to the protection of our wetlands. Furthermore, I propose the establishment of Citizens Environmental Protection Teams (CEPTs),” he said.
“Which should see the establishment of various teams that would ideally have various chapters made up of citizens and local authorities across the province co-ordinated through the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Office of the Provincial Development Coordinator.”