1 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Call to Amend EMA

Government should amend the Environmental Management Act to curb the rampant allocation of residential and industrial stands on wetlands by local authorities. Environment and Natural Resources

Management Minister Francis Nhema said his ministry was not responsible for town planning and was powerless to stop stands allocation on wetlands.

"The Environment Management Agency can only insist on an Environmental Impact Assessment report and management plan for prospective projects. Otherwise we have no power to say thou shall not, or else," he said.

Minister Nhema said although they were empowered to fine offenders or issue them with permits, there was need to amend the Act to give them more power in making crucial decisions regarding environmental issues.

He expressed saddenness that some residential properties allocated in wetlands were flooded this rainy season.

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