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A clean environment is a necessity-Clean up campaign at Hotsprings shopping centre

Compiled by Keith Marera- Hotsprings Environmental Champion Youths Forum

Date: 07/10/2021

Preserve nature for the better future.

 I am writing this report to tell you about the clean-up campaign that was held at Hotsprings shopping centre. The activity was organised by Save Odzi Community Network Trust a community-based organisation in conjunction with Environmental Management Agency.  Youths and women forums also took part in the clean-up campaign event. The event was well attended by the local people, business committee, youth, women, Environmental health technicians and other participants from Buhera and Chipinge District.

Before the cleaning activities, Save Odzi Community Network Trust chairperson Mr Nhachi told us the achievements and failures of the organisation. In his presentation he said, they are offsprings of Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association. They are well capacitated by ZELA their mother body. He added that they work hand in glove with EMA, Council and other organisations. After Mr Nhachi speech, Mr Chibuwe gave us feedback from the meeting he attended in Bulawayo.

Mr Kaneta Chimanimani Environmental Management Agency officer was given the room to give more information about the organisation. Firstly, he told us more about what Environmental Management Agency is and why the organisation was   formed. He said Environmental Management Agency is a statutory body responsible for ensuring the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and protection of the environment and coming with plans to prevent pollution and environmental degradation. It is a parastatal under the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Climate. The organisation was established under the Environmental Management Act (chapter 20:27) of 2002. The Act was operationalized on 17 March 2003 through Statutory instrument 103 of 2003.

Mr Kaneta continued telling us more on the vision and mission of the organisation. A clean, safe, and healthy environment, supporting an empowered society a sustainable and growing economy by 2030 is EMA’s vision. Their mission is to regulate, monitor and to promote the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment while ensuring stakeholders participation. The organisational goals are to increase compliance with regulation and standards and to establish up to date baseline and database for environmental information. Environmental Management Agency has two operational departments which are: the environmental protection and the environmental management services.

Moreover, Environmental Management Agency Officer was given the information about unsustainable activities happening in the society such as land degradation, deforestation  and riverbank cultivation. All the reports from community were a sign of understanding the positive impacts of good preservation of our environment. All this came from a detailed presentation from Mr Kaneta. He also added that the Save Odzi Community Network Trust core values and Environmental Management Agency core values are the same for professionalism, stakeholder participation, responsiveness, accountability, and transparency.

Furthermore, after a short meeting Mr Kaneta handed us cleaning equipment such as gloves, plastic bins, and brooms. The place was so filthy, but we left it clean and safe. We spent more than four hours cleaning the Hotsprings shopping centre. It was a battle but because we were determined to make it in a day, we put extra effort.

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