“We must reduce plastic pollution”

The Chronicle

Chronicle journalists

Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has urged local authorities to embrace the greening approach in their cities towards sustainable communities.

She said this in a speech read on her behalf by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube at the Bulawayo Provincial Cleanup Campaign held at the Southwold Mall in the suburb of Southwold.

The program is part of the nationwide initiative launched by President Mnangagwa in 2018 which has set aside every first Friday of every month as the day Zimbabweans clean up their surroundings.

It takes place under the theme Zero Tolerance to Litter-My Environment- My Pride

“I want to encourage local authorities to respect nature, consider the urban ecological environment as an asset, integrate environmental issues into urban planning and administration, and accelerate the transition to smart cities and sustainable communities.

Local authorities should set a policy direction aimed at resource efficiency and develop a recycling-based society that is ultimately able to support its residents, both now and for future generations,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She said the need to reduce plastic pollution remains best for a clean, safe and healthy environment.

“As communities, we can do our part to reduce plastics by rejecting and avoiding the use of plastic bags and paper as much as possible.

Not only do they pollute the environment, but they also make landfills fill faster than expected,” she added.

The campaign ended on a high note in Bulawayo when Minister Ncube joined department heads and planted trees in the area.

In Plumtree, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Evelyn Ndlovu and Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Dingumuzi Phuti led the clean-up campaign.

Minister Ndlovu urged the community to embrace a culture of cleanliness and be ashamed of littering everywhere.

“I even encourage homeowners to take responsibility for their environment, to let everyone be the guardian of their neighborhood, to refrain from littering everywhere.

We are asking EMA to take action against litter bugs,” Minister Ndlovu said.

She also advised learners to keep cleaning up their schools and to make sure they all take part in cleanup campaigns.

At Mawabeni Business Centre, the campaign was led by the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Abedinico Ncube.

He was joined by members of the uniformed forces, representatives of various government departments and members of the community.

Addressing the stakeholders gathered at the scene, Minister Ncube said it was the duty of every citizen to ensure that the province remained clean.

“It is our duty as citizens of the province to ensure that we keep our region clean.

Clean streets improve the appearance of the province, which further attracts investors.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led by example by declaring the first Friday of every month National Cleanup Day because he knew the importance of a clean environment,” he said.

In a speech read on his behalf at Binga by Mr. Mgcini Vellah, the Administrator of the District Coordinating Committee, Minister of Provincial Affairs and Decentralization, Richard Moyo, said the business community must embrace recycling.

“Sustainable waste management requires efforts on the part of companies to adopt and adapt the principles of circularity in integrated waste management.

Circularity and mutual symbiosis in the business sector remains a key vector to ensure recycling, conservation, reuse, thus achieving zero waste in the environment.

“Let me stress the need for the business world to adopt the cradle to cradle principle, in which producers or retailers follow the life cycle of their products, from manufacturing to recycling, as opposed to cradle to the tomb, whose last stop is disposal.

This principle is an essential facet of a circular economy and will ensure the cleanliness of our service centers and the environment as a whole,” said Minister Moyo.

In the Midlands, the provincial clean-up campaign took place in Shurugwi.

Residents of Shurugwi participated in cleaning up the Shurugwi long-distance terminus and the central business district.

Shurugwi District Development Coordinator (SDC), Mr. Romeo Shangwa called on people to heed President Mnangagwa’s call for a clean environment from their respective homes.

“There is a need for community members to be active in the clean-up exercise as well as source separation of waste to recover materials for recycling.

Stakeholders are also encouraged to take the initiative to organize clean-ups.

We must strive to live in a clean environment from home, as the president always encourages the nation to do,” he said.

Mr. Shangwa also encouraged vendors to form waste management committees that will oversee waste management issues.

Bryce K. Locke