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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Wetlands invasions: Harare reads riot act

By ZBC Reporter

Boreholes that have been drilled illegally in wetlands shall be destroyed and equipment confiscated whilst any form of construction in wetlands will now be stopped beginning this Wednesday, a statement from the Office of the Secretary of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province reads.

According to the statement, the decision follows a meeting that was held between the Secretary of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, the Harare Wetlands Trust and Harare residents representatives on Tuesday the 14th of March 2023 to discuss the growing invasion of wetlands and illegal water harvesting being facilitated by some council and government officials.

“Members of the public are advised that all wetlands in Harare Metropolitan Province have since been gazetted by the Environmental Management Agency through a Cabinet directive. As such no construction or agricultural activities are allowed in wetlands. Zimbabwe is a signatory to several global conventions on the protection of wetlands and so as a Provincial Government structure we shall not tolerate any form of wetland invasion,” the statement says.

“It has also been noted that water extraction permits are being issued for drilling of boreholes and harvesting of natural spring water in wetlands. There is also a growing concern about local authorities applying for land change of use of wetlands into commercial and residential stands. Please be advised that no form of development is permitted in wetlands. Those issuing the permits and building in wetlands will both face the full wrath of the law. The Environmental Management Agency has been advised not to issue any full or partial authorisations to developers and local authorities in wetlands.”

Mr Muguti said all boreholes that have been drilled illegally in wetlands shall be destroyed and equipment confiscated whilst any form of construction in wetlands shall be stopped. “We urge all residents to join the war against wetland invasions by partnering with EMA to erect fences to protect wetlands as well as reporting any illegal activities directly to our offices on 0242 762 988.”

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