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Zimbabwe: First Lady, Environment and Stakeholders in Harare Anti-Litter Campaign

Zimbabwe: First Lady, Environment and Stakeholders in Harare Anti-Litter Campaign

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LITTER, which had become synonymous Harare’s central commercial district (CBD), was cleaned up yesterday by First Lady Auxillia Maungagwa, Environmental patron, and other stakeholders. They combined their efforts to give Harare a sunny image.

Roads that are often littered with flies and litter were cleaned up. This shows the power of a broom to make a difference.

Many roads in the capital are virtually impassable when it rains. This is due to flooding caused by clogged drains. Litterbugs throw all manner of things at once.

Shoppers were surprised to see the mother and father of the nation in an overcoat and holding a shovel and a shovel.

Amai Mnangagwa ran along Robert Mugabe Road, up to Simon Muzenda Street (formerly Fourth Street), up to the intersection Sam Nujoma Street & Jason Moyo Avenue. This intersection is very busy and litter-prone.

Participants in the cleaning program waved placards that contained messages about environmental conservation.

“Zero tolerance for litter-play your role”, “A Clean Environment, a Must in the 21st Century”, “Spread The Gospel of a Litter-Free Society” and “Place litter in a Bin”; see some of the eye-catching signs.

The First Lady, a leader by example and a hands-on person, planted trees in Africa Unity Square. She also addressed a gathering about the need for cleanliness and the need to shun domestic violence and drugs that were rife in communities.

She planted trees called Australian flame, and when fully bloomed they produce bright red flowers that will illuminate the park.

The mother-of-the-nation held an interactive session with the citizens, emphasizing her messages against littering as well as drug abuse and domestic violence.

To begin her discussion, the First Lady stated that Harare had lost it’s sunshine status because litter. She then invited people to explain what litter was.

One of the participants replied, “Wherever you are working from, if your mother is a mother, you should be organised and know where to put litter.”

“I must clean the utensils if I clean the house and wash the children.” Some people don’t even clean their homes, much less their yards and surrounding areas.

“Some people don’t even clean their toilets. Visitors complain about unpleasant smells when visiting.”

The First Lady stated that the clean-up was motivated by the desire to restore the city’s luster.

“The coming together of various stakeholders in this clean up event is a commendable part of our efforts to ensure that the City of Harare regains its Sunshine City status.

“Indeed something within me tells us that this type of collaboration has laid a foundation for concrete, sustained efforts towards ensuring Harare’s lost Sunshine status.”

“Day by day, brick by brick, we are slowly but confidently demonstrating that as Zimbabweans, we have what it takes for sustainable solutions to the temporary challenges that we face as citizens.

She stated that Vision 2030 is within reach of her, citing notable successes in areas such as roads, food security and upgrading our health delivery system, as well as waste management.

The First Lady said that participation from everyone, including the business community was crucial in ensuring that Zimbabwe fulfills its constitutional obligation to provide a clean environment that is not harmful to their health.

“I must also say that I believe that if our program is to be a success it is essential that more Zimbabweans get on board and join it.

“We are all in this together, as the ills caused by a dirty environment discriminate. I challenge all sectors of Harare’s economy and the country to implement strategies to sustain this programme by adopting and adapting best waste management practices. These include waste sorting at source, forming waste management committees in different industrial clusters and shopping centers, and appointing the clean-up program focal persons by all ministries and quasi-Government organizations.” she said.

She said: “Changa chiri-chikumbiro business community yedu Yataurirana Kuti Uyu adopts the area mumwewo Wotora Imwe Area (I appeal to business community to meet and agree on which areas they should clean, especially those that are near their premises. Then, isu mamshoppers torega patsvairwa (shoppers are asked not to throw litter in areas that could have been cleaned). Harare will regain its lost sun status if we do that,” she stated.

The First Lady urged local authorities to rethink waste management strategies and create sustainable models that are cost-effective and efficient.

She praised Harare’s efforts to find investors for the Pomona Dumpsite’s waste to energy project and for positioning the country on the right track towards sustainable cities and communities.

She encouraged citizens to be good stewards and create a smart footprint by adopting best practices in environmental management.

“Recycling is the cornerstone of the circular economy. It should be promoted in all rural and urban settings in accordance with the national development strategy 1. In accordance with the Devolution Agenda enacted by the second Republic it is crucial that we ensure the implementation of the programme at the grassroots level in order to address the challenge holistically. It is therefore crucial to empower district- and ward structures according to the principles of devolution, and entrench inclusive participation for sustainable development,” she stated.

She thanked everyone, including youths, women, and men, who came out to support her initiative, saying that they had set an example for everyone.

On the social side, the First Lady urged for good relations between neighbours and to avoid violence.

“Your next door neighbour is your relative. Don’t make them enemies or fight. God will not allow this. This is where the manners start. Discuss your neighbor’s situation and try to reach an understanding so we don’t fight. I don’t like people who fight. My heart breaks for the increasing number of cases of rape involving minor children. I am hurt by those who steal or who are into drugs that are ruining our children’s health. “May God bless us and let’s correct all areas where we are failing,” she said, to applause.

She also urged young people to abstain from alcohol and drugs.

“I am pleased that today’s youths took the leading role in this cleaning exercise. It is a testimony that President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr E.D Mnangagwa’s Presidential National Youth Clean Up campaign under the theme Listening to young voices’ is proving fruitful by creating an eco conscious generation. I also want to challenge all the young people in this nation to stop engaging in drug abuse and become role models and torch bearers for the development and preservation of this beautiful country for posterity.” she said.

The youths she spoke to confirmed that youths were being destroyed by drugs. They also blamed drug lords for selling drugs to youths in their communities.

Amai Mnangagwa encouraged them to report all drug dealers to the police.

Barbra Rwodzi, the Deputy Minister for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, expressed delight in working alongside the First Lady.

“As the Ministry of Environment, we are grateful to have the First Lady as our patron. We are learning a lot while we clean Harare’s capital City. She is leading the charge in showing the world that their surroundings must be cleaned by their owners. We urge the nation to follow her lead and support her example. She is setting a good example for EMA stakeholders and others in the protection of our environment. This includes planting trees and protecting minerals. She expressed her gratitude to the individuals and stakeholders who supported the First Ladies’ initiative.

Rwodzi, Deputy Minister, said that the First Lady was teaching people to clean up the environment every day and not wait for designated clean-up days.

Musarurwa Stewart Mutizwa was Harare’s Acting Mayor. He described the First Ladies’ interventions as helpful and insightful.

“The First Lady’s initiative is a positive initiative. We have seen her planting trees, and we will roll it out to everyone so that everyone can take part in tree planting.

“Let’s also remind our residents to clean the streets. It is the responsibility of everyone, wherever they are. Please pick up litter that you see. It is everyone’s responsibility keep the City clean. Amai cleaned drains that had become clogged by litter, which causes flash floods. We want to thank her for taking this initiative.” he said.

Oliver Chidawu, Harare’s provincial affairs minister, said that cleanliness helps build confidence in people.

“Cleanliness builds confidence. Amai, I am grateful because you didn’t stop at the need to be smart. But you also discussed how families should live and how children should live. So that even after we are gone, there will be those who continue to follow the expected path. He said that you have been very helpful to us as you are always available to us by phone and are quick to assist us whenever we raise an alarm.”