31 January 2019
YOUTH Against Corruption (YAC) organisation yesterday lodged a petition to Environmental Management Agency (EMA) on the protection of wetlands in the country.
Director of YAC, Owen Tsaurai, led a demonstration at the offices of EMA in Bluffhill with the support of National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO) handed their petition to the director of EMA, Steady Kangata.
Tsaurai said EMA is failing to protect the wetlands in the country, and the petition seeks to enforce EMA to take action.
“Zimbabwe is seriously faced with an environmental threat, the country is at knife edge if proper actions are not taken.
“The destruction of wetlands is rampant even though the right to environment is guaranteed in section 74 of the constitution.
“And we have sent a petition to EMA so that our wetlands are protected as they are important to the ecosystem, several wetlands have been constructed with buildings, houses and fuel stations.
“And EMA has the responsibility to firmly protect the wetlands guided by the policies as outlined in our petition,” said Tsaurai.
Part of the petition reads:
“EMA must undertake to stop the construction and destruction of wetlands.
“Most wetlands have been destroyed in the name of balancing development and protection of wetlands.
“We suspect corruption in the manner in which wetlands are being approved by EMA to be destroyed by those constructing.
“We call for investigations on issuing of Environmental Impact Assessment on the places that are wetlands.
“We therefore notify that, if EMA does not take serious action to stop destruction of wetlands, as youth of Zimbabwe we will take reasonable actions as guaranteed by the national constitution, we will protest across the country.”
However, Kangata said he was pleased to receive the petition from YAC.
“I had a fruitful discussion with Tsaurai as we managed to reach a consensus on how we can protect our environment collectively.
“It is not the duty of an individual or a certain entity to preserve an environment but everyone must be involved.
“We managed to discuss on the way forward and the need to educate the society about the importance of protecting the environment.
“Protection of environment is key to our survival the key to ecological survival.
“And I am glad I managed to clarify to Tsaurai on some of the information that was circulating on the social media disseminating lies about EMA,” said Kangata.