Govt agencies urged to mainstream wetlands management

By Tamuka Charakupa

GOVERNMENT agencies have been challenged to mainstream wetlands management programmes in their day to day operations as part of efforts to preserve the environment in the wake of recurring natural disasters.

A belated World Wetlands Day commemorations held at Mukombiwani Secondary School in Chimanimani this Thursday brought to the fore concerns over misuse of wetlands in Manicaland province.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) lamented human activities which are destroying the environment in the province.

”We are still facing challenges of massive veld fires in the province due to timber production. Not only that, but we are also faced with the abuse of wetlands and riverbank cultivation, especially in dry areas. As EMA, we are appealing to the general community to play their part as well as urge our law enforcement agencies and traditional leadership to take action against offenders,” said EMA Manicaland Provincial Environmental Manager, Mr Kingston Chitotombe.

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikenyere, who was represented by Chimanimani District Development Coordinator, Mr Joseph Manyurapasi, praised the government for its commitment towards the protection of wetlands across the country.

“I, therefore, urge all sector ministries and relevant arms of Government to mainstream wetland management in their programming. All relevant institutions should develop and implement local management plans for the protection and restoration of degraded wetlands, while all citizens should likewise also take up the sustainable management of wetlands as their responsibility,” said Hon Matsikenyere.

Early this month, the government launched the National Wetlands Policy and Wetlands Management Guidelines as it bolsters efforts to preserve wetlands, while ensuring communities benefit from natural resources.