2 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Contain Activities Causing Siltation, Land Degradation

Appeals for law enforcement agents and other relevant authorities to put their act together and contain human activities that cause land degradation and siltation of rivers overshadowed the launch of a Command Water Harvesting Programme in Ward 5 of Buhera recently.

In a speech delivered on her behalf by the director of affairs in her office, Mr Kennedy Mugarisanwa during the launch of the rehabilitation of Mutsindikwa Dam, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Mandi Chimene said human activities were contributing the most in causing siltation in dams and rivers.

"While Government is making these key strides in water resources management, our efforts continue to be reversed and threatened by a number of human actions that have led to the pollution and siltation of our water bodies.

"In many parts of the country, including in this province, the duration of river flows has been seriously reduced, while many small dams on farms and in communities have had their water storage capacities highly compromised due to siltation," she said.

The rehabilitation of Mutsindikwa Dam marked the beginning of concerted efforts Government and other stakeholders in the agriculture industry are making to harness rain water for later use as they roll out different command agriculture programmes whose success hinges on the availability of reliable water supplies.

Cde Chimene said siltation had been largely a result of poor farming activities such as stream bank cultivation, overgrazing and failure to construct contour ridges.

She said gold panning was contributing to siltation in some parts of the province.

"I appeal to law enforcement agents and other relevant institutions such as ZINWA, Environment Management Agency and Forestry Commission to step up efforts in the fight against these vices so that we take care of this critical and strategic resource called water," said Cde Chimene.

She thanked the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate for coming up with the Command Water Harvesting programme.

ZINWA provincial engineer Tendai Muyambo, appealed to those in the Diaspora to fund programmes of Command Water Harvesting.

She said the programme was assisting in poverty and hunger eradication.

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