Stephen Mpofu, Perspective
With global warming showing no sign whatsoever of abating, witness recurrent droughts and food shortages in parts of Zimbabwe – not to mention devastating cyclone-driven floods elsewhere in the global village and most recently in eastern Zimbabwe – a need arises for everyone in this country to be proactive so as to prevent further damage to our seriously beleaguered environment.
[We must therefore all of us, especially those living in the countryside, make reforestation a key theme, what with reports by the Forestry Commission to the effect that our country loses 33 000 hectares of woodlands/forests annually and with the Midlands province accounting for 10 000 hectares of the total loss suffered.
People clear forests to prepare land for agriculture or for new homes, as population grows, or for firewood sold to urban dwellers without electrical power by villagers in need of money.]
Global warming is caused by toxic gases spewed into the atmosphere from unmodified factory chimneys, coal plants and veld fires among other sources which render ozone – the layer protecting Earth from the sun’s dangerous rays – wafer thin causing Earth to heat up dangerously and in the process causing droughts and floods in different parts of the world.
Trees which people wantonly destroy mitigate against global warming by absorbing and sinking gases which destroy the ozone layer, and so territorial preservation of forests or woodlands must be regarded as an imperative by all Zimbabweans realising that a devastated environment imperils the lives of both humans and wildlife.
In retrospect, recent reports about students from Beitbridge planting trees in a bid to improve the environment should be applauded as a move that schools and other parts of the country should emulate.
If the efforts of those children, which also include planting citrus fruit trees, are encoded on radio for broadcast across the country or immortalised on paper in print for circulation to other schools across our nation – ideally under financial sponsorship as motivation by companies or organisations with interests of Zimbabwe at heart – our country might witness an unprecedented crusade by born-frees intent on creating a brave new future for all, especially considering the fact that today’s youth are Zimbabwe’s future.
The Second Republic is sparing no effort in transforming rural areas where the majority of Zimbabweans live, in every way necessary with a boost in agriculture a key necessity in a countryside previously rendered a Cinderella by racist white settler colonial regimes as “the periphery’’.
Thus, a robust environment should serve as a fillip in making the countryside a food basket, not only for urban dwellers but also for people in need of food elsewhere on the African continent.
That at independence, peasants turned our motherland into a food basket for Southern Africa with some of the food produced going as far north as Egypt should demonstrate to all and sundry that Zimbabweans have what it takes to feed the global village, given a conducive environment such as that which our Government is creating right now especially if no bridles such as the satanic Western economic embargo are applied on our leaders.
Now here comes what should be motivational to all unmitigated Zimbabwean patriots.
Yesterday, the gallant sons and daughters of the soil freed the motherland from the knuckles of foreign imperialism under which virtual servitude was our portion.
Today, the onus falls on all born-frees to nurture an environment conducive to continued better livelihoods; otherwise at the frightening rate at which our environment is under siege, as cited above in this discourse we might all wake up one morning in a desert without rainfall to grow food or water to drink either as we pay the price for our self-denial.
Those with ears to hear have heard and must act with no further procrastination to ensure that a bumper environment is in store for this nation’s continued, brave new future.