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conservation of critical importance
Masara, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
View this article
on The Standard website
With the water-table
continually going down, projections are pointing towards water becoming
a problem area for many around the world, and Zimbabwe is certainly
It goes without
saying that serious conservation measures need to be put in place
if we are to secure future water supplies.
Of all biodiversity
that depends on water, man is the most water-dependant, and according
to the World Health Organisation, "25 litres per person per
day is the minimum needed to sustain life and health".
claim to be providing this requirement as the service sector has
been incapacitated since the country was plagued by economic problems.
In future however,
it might not so much be an issue of service delivery as much as
it would be of the unavailability of the water itself, and it would
all have culminated from our present abuse of our water supply systems.
And we should all know by now that "no life exists without
I know I am
not the only one who has witnessed countless times water gushing
in the streets going to complete waste as a result of burst pipes.
One thing for a fact, there will come such a time when we will regret
ever allowing all that water to go to waste. What we are bound to
regret even more is the current ongoing abuse of wetlands.
dambos, madofanya or matoro, as they are popularly known in Zimbabwe,
are responsible for recharging the rivers, headwaters and aquifers
and for the efficient filtration of the recharged groundwater (which
happens to be the source of drinking water for many).
an efficient carbon sink (carbon dioxide contributes about 60% to
global warming and climate change), and control groundwater flow,
preventing erosion and river siltation, as well as depositing the
nutrients that maintain wetland biodiversity.
Zimbabwe might in the near future not be able to enjoy any of the
advantages freely available through wetlands as they are, more than
ever before, under serious threat so much that if the abuses were
to be allowed to continue, the vleis would be wiped out altogether.
the mind is that the authorities that would be expected to be spearheading
their conservation and protection have given the green light for
their exploitation and consequent destruction.
proposed building activity in or near wetlands requires an Environmental
Impact Assessment to be carried out, this legal requirement is continually
being ignored or is only carried through after construction has
already taken place and according to The Conservation Society of
Monavale Trust (Cosmo), this must change, immediately.
information provided by Cosmo, 97, 5% of all water on the planet
is salt water with only 2,5% being sweet water, half of which is
snow and ice, with just 1% being surface water. Of the surface water,
half of it is in lakes and dams. The remaining water is in rivers
or stored in wetlands which re-supply the rivers, lakes and dams.
at these figures, surely all of us cannot fail to see just how much
we need wetlands in ensuring a stable water supply. It then goes
without saying that if the current disregard of the law pertaining
to wetland protection and their brutal abuse is allowed to continue,
we face an unimaginable catastrophe.
single one of us can stand up and claim water issues do not concern
them, and that includes even those that are currently busy abusing
our wetlands. To guarantee our future water supply and that of future
generations, it is everyone's duty to adopt better water conservation
methods and say an emphatic NO to wetland abuse.
But maybe the
first thing would be to increase wetland awareness campaigns, just
so we are all on the same page.
Harare Council fined for wetland abuse
Harare City Council (HCC) was slapped with a US$15 000 fine by the
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for conducting themselves
in a manner that endangered the environment. Among the charges was
that of "uncontrolled development of residential and commercial
stands on wetlands".
would be the shopping mall that is set to be built on the Borrowdale
wetland. Other wetlands in the capital city that have been allocated
as stands include those in Budiriro 3 and 4, Prospect, Tynwald,
Glen Lorne, Eastlea, New Marlborough and that which is opposite
the National Sports Stadium.
The HCC is reported
as having chosen to disregard previous orders from EMA to stop the
construction currently taking place on the wetlands.
it is not only some authorities that are allowing the destruction
of wetlands as these vital natural water reservoirs face further
threats from informal and uncontrolled agricultural activities,
veld fires and pollution.
Management Act (CAP 20:27) Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 states
in clear terms that even just cultivating on wetlands should not
be carried out until permission is granted by EMA.
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