By Christine Chiromo
The biggest impact of urban and industrial development has led to environmental degradation and much conflict for patches of land among residents in the Midlands region.
Urban space is fast diminishing and wetlands are in much demand among farmers especially in Gweru. A quick survey of the wetlands close to the Central business district have illustrated how some of these lands are now being utilized as farmlands hence much of these lands are now in jeopardy.
Wetlands act as a natural filter for water purification.
Professor Danny Simatele of the department of Geography and Environmental studies emphasized how the destruction of wetlands has led to the increased pollution for urban water sources and implored councils to put more resources into water purification.
“Water is running freely in our roads during rainy season because we have destroyed wetlands which act as a natural sponge to absorb the water.”
Residents who spoke with this reporter said they had no other choice but to utilize wetlands as most farming lands are spoken for and are main causes of conflict within communities.
A survey of urban areas in Gweru illustrated how much farmlands are sprouting and most of them stretch close towards the CBD in Gweru.
Minister of state for provincial affairs, Hon Larry Mavhima recently gave an honorary speech at the occasion of the environmental management (EMA) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Network Zimbabwe awards ceremony expressing appreciation for individuals who work hard to spare resources for environmental stewardship and social responsibility for the benefit of society
Mavhima urged stakeholders not to forget the environment and communities as we work towards achieving the national vision. He also emphasized that the environment we live in does not belong to us but is borrowed from future generations therefore it is our duty to protect the environment.
“If we empower our communities and uplift people’s livelihoods, that will have ripple effects both to our businesses and our people.
Mavhima applauded the business sector which did not wait for the government to enact corporate social responsibility legislation but took it upon themselves to be responsible corporate citizens.