Mashudu Netsianda/Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday led the national clean-up campaign in Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo during which he implored local authorities to allocate designated operating space for individuals involved in recycling materials to enhance the culture of recycling at local level.
The clean-up campaign, which was carried out across the country as part of Government’s efforts to build a sustainable environment management and waste disposal culture as envisaged in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), was held under the theme “cleaning our environment for our heroes.”
Zimbabwe celebrates Heroes Day on Monday during which the nation will pay tribute to its heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country.
Speaking during the clean-up campaign, Acting President Chiwenga said in line with the devolution agenda, the burden lies on local authorities to adopt efficient and sustainable mechanisms to address the burden of waste management in towns and cities.
“The National Development Strategy 1 discourse is all encompassing considering the urban expansion, as such, regular waste collection should be a priority to all.
The local authorities have a duty to allocate designated operating space for self-initiating recycling projects to enhance the culture of recycling at local level,” he said.
“This will promote the holistic approach of encouraging reuse of waste to make profitable products for the general population and help people earn a living.”
Turning to Bulawayo, the Acting President said the city, which was once famous for being the cleanest city in the country, is capable of regaining its status through collaborative efforts by all relevant stakeholders.
“It is encouraging to realise that Bulawayo is working together with communities through use of community trucks for refuse collection and formation of community sweeping groups.
It is also inspiring to see the communities participating in cleaning their environment,” he said.
Acting President Chiwenga urged the corporate sector to market their products through clean up campaigns.
“Their corporate social responsibility can be enhanced by supporting the national vision with regards to a clean environment.
After all, a culture of going green breeds a clean environment which is good for economic growth and development of a nation,” he said.
“Clean up campaigns now take place in a different flair, through planting of trees and ornamental flowers.
Thus, we promote the greening of our environment and beautify towns and cities as well as curbing the effects of global warming hence creating the much-envisaged green cities.”
The Acting President said dumping of waste is a prosecutable offence in terms of the law and urged citizens to be environmental stewards within their neighbourhoods.
“It takes a community to build a nation and it is everyone’s responsibility to clean our environment in order to achieve the goal of a clean Zimbabwe.
A clean safe and healthy environment is possible and it is our collective mandate and responsibility as communities and citizens of our beautiful Zimbabwe.”
Acting President Chiwenga said this month’s clean-up campaign is special as it was conducted in honour of the county’s heroes and heroines.
“Lest we forget that these are the people who sacrificed so much for our hard-won independence hence it remains priceless to honour them by celebrating Heroes Day in a clean environment.
As we remember our beloved heroes, with the Heroes Day coming next week, let us complement their efforts and dedication to liberate the country by being good stewards and clean the surroundings throughout the country in places where they are laid to rest,” he said.
The Acting President said waste management is a challenge that should be addressed through the involvement of all citizens from grassroot level.
“The waste we generate is in part bio-degradable and the other part is non-bio-degradable.
The bio-degradable waste include food left overs, crop residues as well as fruits and vegetables which would have gone beyond their shelf life,” he said.
“These have valuable nutrients and must be composted to produce organic fertiliser, which benefits plant growth as well as soil fertility.”
The non-bio-degradable waste includes plastic waste, metal and glass which are manufactured in industry mainly for packaging of various products.
“These must be taken back to the industry for recycling and this is termed the ‘sustainable circular economy model’, which encourages the recycling, repurposing, remaking and re-manufacturing waste into other useful products and valuing waste as a resource,” said Acting President Chiwenga.
“This has a ripple effect of creating a clean environment for ourselves and broadening livelihoods options through green jobs.”
To achieve this, Acting President Chiwenga said citizens must embark on waste segregation at a source and establishment of waste management groups as well as waste transfer stations within communities.
In Matabeleland North, the main event was held in Lupane, the provincial capital.
Matabeleland North provincial EMA education and publicity manager Mrs Mildren Matunge said the clean-up was conducted with the Heroes Day commemorations in mind.
“Lupane district was the host district for the clean-up exercise in the province, but other activities were running concurrently across the entire province. The theme for this clean-up is honouring our heroes.
So, in Lupane we were clearing areas surrounding the Provincial Heroes Acre,” she said.
Matabeleland South EMA provincial manager Mr Decent Ndlovu said the main clean up exercise was held at Maphisa Business Cnete in Matobo district.
He said Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Abednego Ncube led the exercise, which was also attended by Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo, the business community and members of the public.
“This was an important exercise as we head towards the Heroes Day holiday. We are saying let’’s honour our heroes by cleaning the environment as they fought to liberate the country,” he said.
Since the launch of the national clean-up drive in December 2018 by President Mnangagwa, the provincial clean-up campaign teams led by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), have carried out clean-up campaigns in urban and rural centres across the country. — @mashnets @nqotshili