Vice President Kembo Mohadi has urged businesses to adopt zones in areas that they operate and maintain them to ensure a clean environment.
The VP said this yesterday in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in his office, Cde Davies Marapira, during the Matabeleland North provincial clean-up campaign at Binga Centre.
President Mnangagwa declared the first Friday of each calendar month National Environment Cleaning Day as his Government moves to ensure the country has sustainable environment management and waste disposal systems.
The aim of the clean-up campaign is to improve waste management in the country.
VP Mohadi urged all Zimbabweans to embrace the culture of cleanliness.
He said curio shop operators should explore new initiatives of producing their artifacts using plastic waste to reduce the current rate of deforestation.
Binga is a known potential tourist destination whose other attractions include the curio industry, which largely thrives on wood carving, art and craft selling.
“By so doing you would have as a district contributed to the green economy we so envisage as a nation and the world at large. Binga is a fast growing centre premised on the expanding retail sector hence the need for the sector to exhibit an aggressive extended retailer responsibility towards post-consumer waste by placing litter bins in front of their shops for use by their customers,” said VP Mohadi.
“Businesses should adopt zones to maintain and keep clean as well as placing anti-litter billboards or posters in strategic points so that they impress residents and visitors to the centre on the need to keep the environment clean at all times.”
He said over the years, the national cleanup programme has been concentrated around cities with different stakeholders clearing waste dumps as well as their immediate surroundings, places of work, worship, recreational and residential areas. However, 2020 has a difference as focus is now on small towns, rural service centres and growth points so that no one in Zimbabwe is left behind.
VP Mohadi said Binga by virtue of being a tourist resort renowned for game fishing on the Zambezi River, boat cruising, scenic viewing and cultural tourism, needs to improve on environmental cleanliness. He urged Binga RDC to take a leading role through adopting proper waste management programmes in line with Sustainable Development Goal Number 11 that advocates for sustainable cities and communities.
VP Mohadi said school children should also be taught on environmental issues and cleanliness.
“Let us take this national cleanup programme beyond the broom by fully embracing best waste management practices. The spirit of cleanliness should cascade to schoolchildren as it defines us as a sovereign and environmental steward,” he said.
Speaking during the same event, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo said the success of the national clean-up programme hinges on everyone’s commitment towards embracing the culture of cleanliness.
Elsewhere in Matabeleland North, the Environmental Management Agency coordinated the clean-up in conjunction with various environment agencies and stakeholders such as Greenline Africa and local authorities. In Lupane, District Development Coordinator Mrs Enerty Sityhole led various organizations and Government department to clean around Lupane Centre.
The Zimbabwe National Army 1.2 Infantry Battalion team cleaned the area from Victoria Falls highway opposite Hwange Police Station and along Coronation Drive up to the Central Business District.
In Victoria Falls various organisations and stakeholders joined forces to clean around the CBD, among other areas and streets.
In Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube led the cleanup exercise in Mzilikazi suburb.
She challenged residents to be proactive in cleaning up their areas.
The Minister said more needs to be done to get everyone involved in the programme.
“People should take ownership of this programme. It must never be our programme as government because it is to the benefit of the whole entire community as Bulawayo and Zimbabwe. Citizens should have that ownership of the programme,” said Cde Ncube.
She said there has been relative improvements in terms of cleanliness in the city since the programme started.
“At the start of the programme we were picking a lot of used diapers but of late we have discovered that this is changing. The areas are becoming much cleaner. Some community members are becoming more conscious about their surroundings. But we need to put more effort,” she said.
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Tinoda Machakaire was part of cleanup programme as well as Environmental Management Agency (EMA) officials, security services members, school children among others.
In Matabeleland South, Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Abednico Ncube led the main clean up exercise which was conducted in Ward 7 in Gwanda.
He was joined by the police, EMA, various government departments and community members.
Addressing stakeholders at the end of the cleanup exercise just outside Pelandaba Stadium, Cde Ncube urged members of the public to ensure that their surroundings remain clean.
“Let’s make cleaning a habit and let’s not wait for the first Friday of every month. Let’s desist from littering on the streets but rather let’s dispose litter properly. Thank you all for participating in this programme and taking heed of the message from our President who launched this clean up exercise,” he said.
Various Government departments and institutions also cleaned their work premises while residents also cleaned their various wards.
In the Midlands Province, the clean up campaign was held at Gokwe Centre.
Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavhima encouraged Gokwe residents to observe clean up days as per the Presidential declaration.
He noted with concern the number of illegal dumps that are dotted around Gokwe Centre.
“We encourage Gokwe Town council to construct a standard landfill site and residents must improve on waste collection and venture into waste recycling as this helps in reducing waste,” said Minister Mavhima.