By Anyway Yotamu
BUBI – The Minister of Environment, Climate,Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu has applauded citizens and different stakeholders for their continued efforts in exhibiting great zeal and commitment towards the cleanliness of the environment.
Speaking during the independence month clean- up day at Mahamba Business Centre, Bubi District,Matebeleland North Province on Friday, Minister Ndlovu said he was proud to note that Inyathi Centre is one of the areas where the national clean-up programme, declared by the President of the Republic, H.E Cde. Dr. ED. Mnangagwa, in December 2018, has taken root.
He pointed out that a clean environment remains everyone’s responsibility and urged citizens to play their part and be counted in this noble agenda.
“Today is the fifth and last Friday of April 2021, and true to the Cabinet pronouncement that every Friday in April is a clean-up day, we are cleaning here at Mahamba Bussiness Centre to ensure all Zimbabweans, including those in Rural Service Centres, get the message on cleanliness and make sure the Independence month is celebrated in style by cleaning the environment.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me commend the Mahamba Business Community, vendors and members of the public for the inclusivity and unity of purpose that you have exhibited by your participation in this and other previous clean-up programmes. If such a mind-set could be inculcated in all Zimbabweans then littering and waste dumps would be a thing of the past”, he said.
The month of April, he stressed, was quite significant in history as Zimbabweans, as commemorate the country’s hard won independence, hence the Nation has seen it apt to dedicate the whole month of April for clean-up programmes every Friday, running under the theme, ‘Together-Growing our Economy for a Prosperous, Resilient and Inclusive Society in a clean, safe and healthy environment’.
“I am reliably informed that every First Friday of each month clean- up day, stakeholders come out and clean their environs here at Mahamba and Badala Business Centres, which is what l am urging all citizens from all over the country to do regardless of location; and let me appreciate our countrymen from all walks of life who continue to participate in this noble cause, including this special April month clean-up programme.”
He commended Bubi RDC for procuring a tractor that is used for collection of waste indicating that it was a major milestone that should be applaud as he urged other RDCs to compliment and emulate.
“I am also aware of other complimentary efforts made by the RDC that include the installation of waste bins at strategic points around the centre.
“I am again reliably informed that the RDC also has made an effort to put up a Waste Management Transfer Station at this Centre. However, I heard the station needs scaling up and protection from vandalism, unfortunately from us the primary beneficiaries of such waste management infrastructure. I therefore call upon all stakeholders here to safeguard this infrastructure,” said Minister Ndlovu.
He added that the clean, safe and healthy environment can only become possible if everyone exhibit responsibility; and adopting and adapting to best practises in waste management especially in testimony to the Independence enjoyed by the nation.
“As such, all these Friday clean-ups for the month of April were in cognisance of our hard earned Independence, hence celebrating it in style, by ensuring that we all participate in cleaning and keeping our immediate surroundings clean.”
Current focus of the clean-up programme, he highlighted, was on Rural Service Centres and Growth points, such as Mahamba in an effort to thrive to take the message to all parts of the country and by so doing “leaving no one behind” in the sustainable management of waste.
The minister also challenged all local authorities to empower its residents in sustainable waste management by among other interventions, spearheading the formation of local level Waste Management Committees in all major centres so that cleanliness is attained in its totality.
“Waste Management Committees are essential in mobilising communities for clean-ups, advocacy and also act as the eyes in identifying litter bugs and general monitoring. This also is in testimony that an empowered society is an able community in perpetuating the sustainable waste management agenda.
“Again, this also remains key in perpetuating the global and national agenda on sustainable waste management; and in promoting our national aspirations as depicted in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030.
He reiterated that the beauty of community based waste management is that, it allows for communities to permeate through the whole waste management landscape and identify livelihood enhancement opportunities from the waste at their disposal, hence adopt sustainability principles and circularity in the waste material value chain.
“It is thus the aspirations of the development agenda to see communities finding a niche in the business case provided in waste management and embarking in recycling, remaking and repurposing of waste; thus achieving zero waste in the environment and at the same time enhancing livelihoods.
“This remains a vital facet of the circular economy we all envisage, and is also capable of ensuring cleanliness of our service centres, and the environment in its entirety.”
He also called upon local authorities to foster linkages and collaborations with recycling companies for collection of recyclable materials, and in so doing propel the circularity model and aide communities to irk a living from waste as they convert, “Trash to cash”.
“I am informed that the RDC is failing to start the process of constructing a properly engineered landfill due to challenges in securing land for that purpose. To that end, l call upon local authorities having the same predicament to work as a consortium with neighbouring local authorities and spare land from each of their boundary lines; and collectively embark on landfill construction process.
“To that end, I urge all local authorities to strive towards constructing appropriate, well managed and secured waste disposal sites; which are sites that meet the standards set by government.”
Local authorities, he said, remain the biggest beneficiaries of these clean-up campaigns and should therefore take a leading role in organising these events, under the guidance of the District Development Coordinators and EMA.
“They should also, provide adequate public bins at the growth points, rural service centres and ensure that the frequency of emptying these bins promotes cleanliness. After such clean-ups, we expect them to collect all the waste and ensure its safe management for recycling and disposal. Above all, cleanliness should be upheld at all times, especially after all this cleaning up that has been done all over the country today.
“The thrust of the National clean-up programme is to ensure that all Zimbabweans share the same vision and understanding that as citizens of this beautiful country, they remain the primary beneficiaries of a clean, safe and healthy environment; hence maintaining a clean environment remain the best option.”
All stakeholders doing business at rural service in the centres were urged to stand up and be counted in waste management.
“Those in mining and the business community alike should donate towards solid waste management in the form of bins and cleaning materials, as well as adopting areas for maintenance and thus enhance a litter free environment.”
Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution were also appreciated for their sterling efforts in ensuring that all Clean–up programmes are religiously done, as and when required.
“All the provinces have taken this as a serious assignment, and the results are evident. As we are cleaning here this morning, Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution from all over the country are being joined by the Youths, Residents and corporates, just to name a few, in cleaning up different parts of their provinces. ”
Minister Ndlovu also appreciated all stakeholders including civil society, religious groups, the business community, vendors and the general public for taking heed to the Presidential declaration on the National Clean-up; and this cabinet pronouncement on these every Friday of April clean-up activities which citizens gladly participated in up to this last Friday.
He indicated that the efforts surely igoes to show that it takes commitment and unity of purpose to achieve a clean, safe and healthy environment.