Matobo Rural District Council in Matabeleland South province has gazetted environmental and natural resource conservation by-laws, which will assist in the exploitation of natural resource and at the same time promote environmental stewardship.
Communities from areas endowed with vast natural resources have often complained about lack of meaningful benefit from available natural resources. The environmental impact resulting from exploitative activities is hard felt by the locals who are increasingly demanding meaningful benefit in the form of infrastructural development. To this end, Matobo District has formulated a policy to address the anomalies in the utilisation of natural resources in the District.
The local authority's Chief Executive Officer Mr. Elvis Sibanda explained that the gazetted by-laws will ensure that community members are involved in the governance of natural resources through the recently established environmental sub-committees in their areas.
"An exercise was carried out with the assistance of Habakkuk Trust in 2019 to produce a comprehensive set of by-laws, which has culminated in the production of a detailed set of environmental by-laws," he said.
Habakkuk Trust has also been instrumental in the training of three ward environmental sub-committees in the District. Participants who took part in the trainings, raised hopes that if strong by-laws are crafted and implemented accordingly; locals will significantly benefit from their locally available resources.
Provisions in the new by-laws include exploitation of natural resources, environment rehabilitation, environmental stewardship and community benefit.
Source: STA-NRG Consortium