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Zimuto Community reaps benefits from Marongere Wetlands

Zimuto Community reaps benefits from Marongere Wetlands

Story by Mercy Bofu-Matinha

VILLAGERS of Zimuto area in Masvingo are benefitting from their wetland’s conservation efforts, with more communities being called upon to embrace sustainable management of the natural resource.

Through assistance from the Environmental Management Agency, the villagers have employed a sustainable model of managing and conserving wetlands around their community where they are already benefitting from the 8.4-hectare Marongere Integrated Catchment Area Rehabilitation project.

The project has resulted in the rehabilitation of wetlands around the area and the establishment of a community garden, an orchard and a weir with nearly 60 families benefitting.

“This area used to be a marvel years ago and it was sacred with springs around. We used to grow rice around this area selling to other areas, however, all went down due to mismanagement. Since the coming in of EMA for the rehabilitation of our wetlands all the benefits are coming back slowly,” said one of the beneficiaries.

Another added, “We have managed to restore our wetlands here in Marongere area, now we have a community garden and the newly established orchard by the Forestry Commission. We are looking forward to more benefits.”

Commemorations to mark World Wetlands Day in Masvingo province this Wednesday gave a glimpse of the impact of the Rehabilitation Project.

Masvingo Provincial Manager – Environmental Management Agency Mr Milton Muusha said, “Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention and we ascribe to the position guidelines or procedures of the Ramsar Convention on the wise use and conservation of wetlands. Today we are here in Marongere area with a message to say to the community, let us preserve our wetlands and sustainably manage them.”

The government has pledged to come up with strategies and policies to strengthen the management of wetlands in the country.

Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honourable Ezra Chadzamira said, “Our government continues to come up with policies that strengthen all the efforts that are existing on wetland management and we are saying communities must play a big role in managing wetlands.”

This year’s commemorations were running under the theme: ‘Wetlands for Sustainable Livelihoods.’

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