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NGO scales up programmes on environment conservation

BY JAMES MUONWA
A group of activists passionate about preserving the environment has
embarked on various projects to promote sustainable mining among
artisanal and small-scale miners.
The Kadoma-based non-profit body, National Environment Awareness Trust
(NEAT), is also lobbying for novel conservation farming methods in
resettlement areas, where A1 farmers are reportedly depleting forests
as they wantonly cut down trees to make charcoal used for heating,
cooking and, at times, curing tobacco.
NEAT founder and chairperson, Timothy Chizuzu told NewsAnchor his
organisation's main thrust is to instill environmental stewardship
among Zimbabwean citizens.
"As a trust, we seek to raise the bar when it comes to 'green issues'
that speak to our environment to make it clean, safer and protect it
for future generations," said Chizuzu.
He lamented the massive land degradation and pollution of water bodies
with harmful chemicals such as mercury and cyanide used in gold ore
processing, blamed mainly on artisanal and small-scale miners.
Chizuzu highlighted NEAT aims to engage miners and assist them to
formalise their operations to enable them to contribute towards
environmental conservation and national development.
"We need to impart in our people knowledge on the extent of the
impacts of environment damage that leads to climate change, scarring
the land and other adverse effects on the environment."
The NEAT boss said his organisation, which also conducts regular
clean-up campaigns, will extend its target groups to encompass all
economic sectors.
Among its objectives, NEAT capacitates environmental impact assessment
(EIA) practitioners through training and offering certified
educational programmes.
It also educates communities on sustainable living, climate change and
'greening' the environment.
The trust's mandate also involves lobbying for the implementation of
environmental laws and international best practices inorder to address
local challenges perculiar to Zimbabwe.
"We stand for clean air, safe water and land, healthy communities and
corporate accountability," added Chizuzu.
The organisation's punchline is "A Clean Environment, A Healthy Nation."
-TOP NEWS

'Health Service Board is not a firing squad'

BY JAMES MUONWA
The Health Service Board (HSB) has embarked on a rebranding exercise
in a bid to strengthen its role of improving conditions of service in
the health sector and shrug-off its reputation as a "firing squad."
This comes as the statutory body gears to pioneer a new pay structure,
from the current that is constituted by 70% non-pensionable allowances
of net salaries.
HSB executive director, Ruth Kaseke told health workers during a visit
at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital on Thursday, that her organisation had
earned an unenviable reputation as a "faceless" body whose sole
mandate was to fire nurses, doctors and other ancillary health
personnel for various unethical and unprofessional practices.
She urged health sector workers to remain steadfast and professional
as HSB negotiates with Treasury for better pay and improved working
conditions.
"The HSB is not merely there to fire workers as people have come to
believe that we are a firing squad. We are there to set and negotiate
conditions of service for health sector employees.
"As we do this, please remain professional and safeguard the sector we
so dearly cherish," said Kaseke, who was accompanied by HSB trustees.
The HSB institutional visits, which also took the entourage to Kariba,
coincided with a 50% cost of living allowance awarded to civil
servants.
During the interface at Chinhoyi Hospital, sister-in-charge Meggis
Chisango decried the shortage of essential medical equipment and
drugs, work overload due to a depleted staff establishment which is
not in sync with mutating disease patterns, demotivating promotion and
grading system and poor remuneration.
Health workers also demanded free services at public hospitals and
clinics, among other demands.
HSB spokesperson, Tryphine Rachel Dzvukutu said the objectives of the
tour were to meet health workers at various institutions to have an
appreciation of local work environments and infrastructure, to provide
direct support to hospital management boards, assess challenges faced
by hospitals and share HSB expectations.
"In the process, we hope to enhance the image and visibility of HSB,"
said Dzvukutu.-TOP NEWS.
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