First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has called on companies to consider investing heavily in the recycling industry to minimise the amount of garbage in the environment.
She said this in a speech read on her behalf by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a clean-up campaign along Plymouth Road in Workington industrial area, Harare, yesterday.
She implored the business community to adopt standards that advocate cleanliness in factories and surrounding areas to ward off diseases associated with dirty environments such as cholera and diarrhoea.
“The recycling industry possesses numerous downstream opportunities as well as backward linkages,” she said.
The First Lady said the recycling and green industries globally, were growing at an impressive rate of about four percent per annum, hence the need for local entrepreneurs to consider venturing into the sector.
She also called on companies to improve product quality to have global appeal and consequently, boost their revenues.
“The global trend is that products that meet quality standards get immediate acceptance worldwide. We cannot continue to have only about one percent of our companies being ISO certified. This is unacceptable and we can only continue with this trend at our peril.”
In Bulawayo, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Cde Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said Government is coming up with a waste management policy to address water pollution as most of the country’s water sources are contaminated due to effluent from industries and local authorities. He said this during a Bulawayo cleanup campaign held in Belmont industrial area.
Cde Ndlovu said Government was aware of the environmental hazards caused by pollution due to failure to properly dispose of waste mainly by the industry and local authorities. “There is a programme that we are coming up with in solid waste management where we are going to work closely with the industry in trying to make sure that they recycle their waste. In cases where they fail to recycle waste, we also want to explore modern technologies so that we stop water pollution. Our water in most parts of the country is seriously contaminated as we had not been taking seriously the issue of waste management as emission flow to water bodies. In the coming year, we have a policy where we will work closely with industries and local authorities in coming up with methods and technologies that are more viable in waste management,” he said.
Cde Ndlovu said the national clean up exercise has been a huge success, a year since its inception.
“Today is the 12th month since the President launched the national clean-up campaign. We found it very difficult to find dirt here which shows that industries in Belmont, Bulawayo have embraced President Mnangagwa’s national clean-up campaign and are taking it seriously. What we have done is that this clean-up campaign nationally is being hosted by the industry. Even in Harare the industry is leading the national clean-up exercise,” said Cde Ndlovu.
He said, while the industry has taken lead of this month’s clean-up campaign, his ministry was expecting other ministries to follow suit to make the process all encompassing.
“Even the theme for this clean-up ‘Clean and green industry’ is coming from the industry which shows that the industry is concerned about the cleanliness of their environment, they are concerned about a green industry and they are also addressing issues to do with waste disposal. So, we want to applaud the industry for working closely with the Government in trying to promote a clean environment,” he said.
Speaking during the same event, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Bulawayo, Cde Judith Ncube, praised the industry for keeping their environment clean.
“If we are to compare the clean-up campaigns that we have been doing across the city there is a major difference between this one and those that we did in residential areas. This side is very clean yet most of the residential areas were littered. So, we applaud the industry for its efforts to keep their areas clean and our hope is that residents also learn from them,” she said.
In Masvingo Province, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Ezra Chadzamira, led proceedings at Jerera Growth Point in Zaka.
Speaking during the event he said the clean-up campaign was not a Zanu-PF thing but it was meant for every citizen
He said it was pleasing to note that communities at district level were heeding President Mnangagwa’s clarion call to keep the environment clean.
“I also want to encourage women and youths to use available resources to create employment.
“At the same time there should be proper planning of residential stands in Jerera Growth Point and you will note that proper waste management also creates employment,” said the minister.
The clean-up campaign in the Midlands province took place at Chachacha Rural Service Centre which was the first time for a rural service centre to host the exercise.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima said the waste management situation has greatly improved since the launch of the programme adding that there has been some positive behaviour changes among the people in the Midlands province.
“I strongly believe that if we all act responsibly and shun litter, it is possible for Zimbabwe and Midlands in particular to attain a clean, safe and healthy environment that supports an empowered society and a sustainable and growing economy by 2030,” he said.
Minister Mavima called on the eight rural local authorities and the seven urban local authorities in Midlands province to refocus and prioritise all issues identified and prioritised under the local environmental action plan documents.
“I am well informed that EMA has trained all the 14 local authorities on local environmental action plans and local authority stakeholders have identified key environmental issues councils should address including waste management,” he said.