A clean environment is everyone’s right: First Lady

The Herald

Tendai Rupapa in MUROMBEDZI

A CLEAN environment is everyone’s right and it calls for all to play an active role to achieve this, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry patron, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, has said.

She made the remarks yesterday at Murombedzi Growth Point where she joined the community and led from the front in cleaning up the area and planting trees.

President Mnangagwa declared the First Friday of every month a national environmental clean-up day to foster a culture of cleanliness among country’s citizenry.

The clean-up campaigns had waned owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

Amai Mnangagwa together with the villagers, Chiefs and Government officials swept and cleared garbage heaps giving the growth point a new face.

A believer in hard work and the need for women to play a role in the sustenance of their families, the First Lady encouraged everyone to utilise waste management practices on recyclable waste materials for revenue.

The mother of the nation said she was greatly honoured to participate in the clean-up which fell under the conclusion of the festive season and it was critical to reflect on the benefits of the national clean-up programme.

“It is up to us to take on the challenge of maintaining a clean, safe and healthy environment in 2022 and beyond. I want to applaud everyone for coming to this clean-up programme as this is true demonstration of the dedication which we harbour as Zimbabweans to keep our country clean.

“Our vision as a nation is to be an upper middle income State by 2030. As such, we should also apply this goal by participating in sustainable management of waste.

“Vision 2030 blends with the global agenda of promoting a green economy where sustainable consumption and production remain the cornerstone for the global development agenda,” she said.

Environment patron First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa sweeps during the national clean up programme in Murombedzi yesterday. — Pictures: John Manzongo

Sustainable consumption, the First Lady said, required everyone to be responsible for their actions and make the right choices which are environmentally friendly and sound. Such choices reduce both our ecological footprint, helping minimise waste generation.

“I therefore encourage towns, rural business centres and villages to continue participating in this initiative whole-heartedly and with the energy and zeal that will lead to a litter-free Zimbabwe.

“As we work towards vision 2030 and guided by National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), let us remain resolute in achieving sustainable development goals.

“It is important for every citizen to realise that the issue of managing waste is of great significance in promoting the integrity of the environment and in the process creating the future we want without leaving anyone behind,” she said.

Amai Mnangagwa implored the local authority and residents to ensure the environment is kept clean so that the hard work done was not in vain.

As patron of the Environment , Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, the First Lady encouraged everyone to utilise waste management practices such as waste segregation at home, churches and workplaces and trade on recyclable waste materials for revenue.

“Let us make use of waste materials in a positive way by investing in waste management projects as a means of uplifting the community and the country as a whole. Tirikuti kumba let us learn to select litter for recycling. Nhasi tasima miti pano and i also urge you to have orchards padzimba dzenyu,” she said.

Secretary for Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesu Munodawafa paid tribute to the First Lady for her efforts to ensure the environment was kept clean and well-managed.

“We want to thank Her Excellency the First Lady for leading us in the clean-up here at Murombedzi growth point. Murombedzi has always been one of the promising growth points but as you can see litter was beginning to build up.

“We are happy that she has come here and the place has immediately taken a facelift but beyond Murombedzi we want to thank Her excellency, who is also the Environment Ambassador for leading this process not only on the national clean-up days which is the first Friday of every month, but almost everywhere she goes she is cleaning up. Almost everywhere that she goes she has carried on as the ambassador. She is planting trees as she has done again today,” he said.

Mrs Brandina Mareverwa who cooks and sells food at the growth point was all smiles and promised to continue cleaning up her work environment as encouraged by the First Lady.

“We are thankful for this programme of cleaning up our environment so that it is presentable and we won’t contract diseases.

“We thank the First Lady for her love that has made her come here so that we have a deeper understanding of cleanliness. We shall continue maintaining this since it has come from a higher office and we understand that it is serious business. We are forever grateful,” she said.

Mr Munodawafa weighed in saying as the country move to become an upper middle income State in the context of vision 2030, it was clear that one of the features of an upper middle income state was one that treasured waste management.

“So it’s a key feature going forward in the economy and we want to move even further and challenge the local authorities to turn this waste into energy.

“We are a country that needs additional energy and it’s very easy. All they need is to facilitate and let the investors carry on and we turn this trash into energy and empower Zimbabwe. So 2022 onwards is likely to be an exciting period for Zimbabwe,” he said emphatically.

Some of the people who are into waste recycling could not hide their joy and shared their experiences.

One of them, Mrs Rosy Chimusewe, who is recovering from a stroke said waste management was helping her recover and realise income to sustain her family and send children to school.

“I spent five years sick due to a stroke and when I started getting better I saw it necessary to use my hands weaving this things from bread packs, cassettes, plastic containers and used car tyres. I use these vehicle tyres to make bags. This gives me something to do and generate income. We do this to raise income to pay fees and sustain our families.

“Our mother, the First Lady encourages us that there is money in waste. She also encourages smartness hence by picking up this litter we are cleaning the environment,” she said.

Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said she was glad the First Lady had visited the area to teach cleanliness.

“As a province we are happy you have come to teach us hygiene. We promise you that as a province we shall keep our environment clean. Your visit has strengthened our programme of the national clean up campaign,” she said.

Minister Mliswa-Chikoka urged companies and councils to work together in maintaining cleanliness.

“It is everyone’s duty to keep the environment clean and we wish to continue keeping our surroundings presentable,” she said.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Local Government and Public Works Deputy Minister Marian Chombo also attended the event.

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