Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
Zimbabwe needs to reduce and recycle waste to improve the nation’s waste and environmental management systems, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka has said.
Speaking during the provincial clean-up campaign and belated Africa Environment Day at Baobab Stadium in Ngezi last Friday, the Minister said efficient management would promote pollution prevention and an inclusive approach in dealing with waste.
The Africa Environment Day, which seeks to raise awareness on environmental challenges and to recognise contributions by Kenyan environmental activist Dr Wangari Maathai, has been commemorated on March 3 every year since 2002.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka said through the circular economy model, materials are reused, recovered, remanufactured and recycled to promote resource efficiency.
“It is paramount that we adhere to the principles of sustainable economic models such as ‘the circular economy’ which Zimbabwe is moving towards,” she said. “It is a model in which maximum value is extracted from natural resources in the sense that once they enter the value chain they are not quickly disposed of, instead they are reused, recovered, remanufactured and recycled.”
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka outlined the need for separation of waste at source.
“Each stream should be kept in separate bins prior to disposal to enable the recyclables such as paper, glass and plastic while all biodegradable waste should be composted and the product be used as organic fertiliser or manure,” she said.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) provincial manager, Mr Rambwayi Mapako, said local authorities should come up with landfills and called on communities to be environmentally friendly.
EMA’s Mhondoro-Ngezi district officer, Ms Tanyaradzwa Ratibu, said while the district council was managing to control waste, environmental violations, particularly around illegal gold and chrome mining areas were rampant.
“Levels of environmental degradation are high around illegal mining areas while cutting down of trees for charcoal are high,” she said.
The provincial clean-up campaign was supported by Zimplats, Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council and Nyaradzo Funeral Services, among other stakeholders from the district.