19 April 2017

Zimbabwe: Ema Bars Settlement On Unserviced Land

THE Environmental Management Authority (EMA) board has barred local authorities from allowing land development in urban centres without proper sanitary facilities as a stop gap measure to contain littering which has characterised towns and cities.

In an interview on Monday on the sidelines of an awareness campaign against littering in Beitbridge , EMA board spokesperson, Mr Felix Moyo said the allocation of unserviced housing stands to people had caused a health hazard in urban centres.

Said Mr Moyo: "We have advised the Beitbridge Town Council and other urban councils not to allow land development before the area is serviced or without proper sanitary facilities.

"Allowing habitation on undeveloped land increases littering and in most cases and this comes with a lot of health hazards".

He said they were equally worried with the state of affairs in most areas where people have settled on unserviced land.

Mr Moyo said EMA was rolling out a number of anti-littering campaigns in most hotspots which included, highways, mining and border towns.

He said that they were looking at mobilising resources that would help in capacitating local authorities on issues relating to environmental management.

"We have targeted Beitbridge town for the anti-littering campaigns considering that it is the face of Zimbabwe to those people accessing the country from South Africa.

"Further, you will note that this is one of the busiest inland ports in Southern Africa, where we have a daily transit population of 12 000.

"This then calls for us to scale up our efforts on issues of effective environmental management," he said.

Mr Moyo added that a clean environment attracted investors and hence the importance of sprucing up the face of ports of entry.

He said they were concerned with solid waste management and littering mainly of beer cans, bottle, and airtime vouchers and kay-lite.

"Our neighbours are clean but here in the country there is a lot of littering. The other reason why we chose Beitbridge is that there was an early warning on heavy rains in the country.

"Previously Beitbridge experienced an outbreak of cholera and that made us come here to avert a repeat of that. However, we are happy that our awareness campaigns have paid dividends," said Mr Moyo.

It is understood that Beitbridge town with an estimated population of 50 000 produces 700 tonnes of solid waste per month.

Beitbridge town council chairperson, Mrs Showa Moyo, said they have been engaging a number of partners with the view of improving environmental management systems in the town.

She said they had close to 300 bins in the town and that more would be installed in the CBD and along the highway.

"We are appealing to development players to partner us in constructing communal bins in the suburbs and at businesses centres.

"It is also important that we engage each other with a shared vision with others with like minds so that we can move in one direction," she said.

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