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Wetlands Policy, Guidelines Get Cabinet Approval


BY SIKHULEKELANI MOYO

Cabinet has approved the proposed national policy and guidelines on the 

management of wetlands that were presented by a special ministerial 

committee.

Vice President Constatino Chiwenga this week tabled the bluebrints as 

chairman of the Enhancement Cabinet Committee on Emergency Preparedness and 

Disaster Management. 

Addressing journalist in Harare this week during the 28th Post Cabinet 

press briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting 

Services,  Monica Mutsvangwa said the approved policy will guide wetlands 

management in development planning by government, the private sector, 

development partners, traditional leaders, communities and individuals.

“The policy will facilitate the establishment of an effective and efficient 

institutional legal framework for integrated management, and enhancement 

capacity building within relevant institutions involved in the management 

of wetlands,” Mutsvangwa said.

Concerning the issue of construction on wetlands, the minister said 

government will not allow that.

“Government will designate all wetland areas that are unsuitable for 

settlement, gazette all ecologically sensitive wetlands, undertake orderly 

relocation of people in order to pave way for the rehabilitation of 

wetlands and enforce the requirements for Environment Management Agency 

(EMA) certification for any developments in sensitive wetlands,” she also 

said.

Following the protection of wetlands by EMA, waste should be managed as it 

pollutes them and bring health hazards to both human beings and animals.  

Mutsvangwa said there shall be efficient measures on waste management from 

point of source, with stiff penalties being imposed for offenders 

discharging waste into wetlands.

For wetland management to be a success, people need to be taught on their 

importance.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the government will establish wetland education 

centres countrywide, set up functional local wetland management 

institutions, restore the powers of traditional leaders in wetland 

management, and strengthen legislation to protect various habitats found 

there. 

EMA spokesperson Amkela Sidange told NewsAnchor, government was taking a 

decisive move to protect wetlands as it gives a national drive for everyone 

to preserve them. 

She also said waste management will help to reduce water pollution since 

wetlands are well known for recharging all sources of water.

“People are now using wetlands as disposal sites which causes water 

contamination. In towns like Harare, if wetlands are polluted people will 

not get water in its best quality,” said Sidange.

NewsAnchor interviewed citizens on sustainable use of wetlands in a snap 

survey conducted in Bulawayo, this week.

Tapiwa Chindabata said wetlands should be kept clean as they are 

responsible for improved water quality. 

“Wetlands are like a sponge which can hold water and release it to the 

surrounding water bodies when it is needed. Therefore, they should be clean 

so as to reduce water contamination and protect human and animal life.

“The government is on the right track because laws and penalties should be 

set in place so as to conserve natural resources,” Chindabata said.


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