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‘Take good care of environment’, ministers of state urged

Oppah Muchinguri and minsters of state

By Joyce Mukucha

The Government of Zimbabwe is looking forward on how a 100-day quick wins programme is faring in response to the directive of His Excellence President Emmerson Mnangagwa to all government organs to implement the initiative, Cabinet minister has said.

Speaking during the meeting with the ministers of state on the 11th of January 2018, Oppah Muchinguri, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate said the aim was on how the implementation can be enhanced to collectively address the common challenges facing the government in areas concerning the Ministry’s mandate.

“Honourable ministers, we are all aware of the high expectations Zimbabweans have of the new administration’s ability to satisfy with haste their aspirations for economic growth, employment creation and improved service delivery that will translate to improved livelihoods.

“This mandate encompasses all aspects pertaining to the promotion of rigorous environmental practices and sustainable natural resources management, the planning and management of water resources and determination as well as adoption appropriate responses to the climate change phenomena,” said Minister Muchinguri.

She said the Ministry is implementing the projects which include Command Water harvesting, Command Fisheries and wildlife programme, Command Agro forestry, Command veld fire, Waste Management programme and land degradation.

Focusing on Command water harvesting, minister Muchinguri said water is one of the key enablers of sustainable social growth in Zimbabwe.

She said the ministry has seen it crucial to embark on a countrywide weir construction and weir rehabilitation exercise since most of the water infrastructure was damaged by excessive rains received last season which resulted in the destruction of 185 dams.

“As such my Ministry is implementing water harvesting projects around the country to alleviate water shortages in all areas as well as address the effects of climate change. The water harvesting project will see the construction and rehabilitation of existing ones, drilling of boreholes, de-siltation of water bodies as well as roof-top water harvesting,” she said.

On command fisheries and wildlife program, minister Muchinguri said, is a national programme to ensure food security and the improvement of livelihoods and the national economy.

“Zimbabwe has a limited fisheries output that the country has over 10 700 small, medium sized and large dams with conducive environment for intensive fish production, if all dams can be fully utilised the country has a potential to increase the fish production to almost $1, 5 million tons per year,” said minister Muchinguri.

Another sector she emphasised on is Command Agro forestry programme which she said is meant to counter the rate of deforestation which stands at an average of 330 000 hectares per year compared to tree planting which stands at an average 25 000 hectares per year.

She urged the ministers of state to remember that Environmental rights are a Constitutional right, everyone has a right to a safe, clean and healthy environment and she encouraged them to work together at ensuring the achievement of other national goals.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende