By Nhau Mangirazi
HARARE– Hurungwe district bagged two awards during Environment Management Agency (EMA)’s inaugural Stewardship ceremony held last week in the capital.
Karoi based community based organization Chenai clinched Best Recycling Innovation category while Mpofu River farm from Hurungwe got the Sustainable Land Use and conservation imitative category.
Chenai kicked off its project in 2015 as pioneers of the poly paver’s concept.
According to a citation by the judges, the community based organization from the farming town of Karoi was the first to publicly discover the elasticity of the plastic and how it can be mixed with river sand at high temperatures to manufacture poly pavers.
‘This great discovery heightened the demand for plastic waste and brought in livelihood centered interventions to the plastic waste challenge scourge. The manufacture of the poly pavers was science-based as the group worked with engineers in coming up with various models,’ said judges report.
They further noted that besides the issue of poly pavers, the group is also into scrap metal recovery, one of the problem solid waste streams for majority of local authorities around the country.
Chenai founder and spokesperson Never Gariromo said they are committed to help communities address issues on waste management and keep the environment clean as the green initiatives remains top priority within African and abroad.
‘We are aimed at recycling, reuse and reduce solid waste around Karoi town. On average a Karoi resident generates about 500 grams of waste per day that is huge compared to developed countries. From our research with other partners including Karoi town council, local EMA it became a reality that we needed to focus on innovative as the town population is growing rapidly that will increase that magnitude, hence our project to curb this. Green energy is our focus and we are part of the community’ said Gariromo.
Karoi town council is battling to effectively collect waste management due to financial challenges and inadequate machinery.
Gariromo noted that beside efforts by policymakers to create legal framework around solid waste in the town, a lot needs to be done.
‘That is why we have created a platform as an intervention measure to minimize waste management around the town where we use waste as a source of livelihood in the community,’ he added.
The latest award ceremony hosted by EMA proved community based programs besides delays by the treasury to disburse promised allocations that negatively affect effective operations and implementation of line ministry programs including environment, tourism and hospitality industry.
Recently, parliament portfolio committee on environment, tourism and hospitality noted that this has long term effects to turn around the economy.
Presenting a pre-budget review meeting in the resort town of Victoria Falls parliament portfolio committee chairperson Hon Concilia Masuku-Chinanzvavana said there were no fund accounts with retentions in the ministry but were ‘relying on’ voted funds.
‘All in all, the ministry suffers from none and late disbursement of promised allocations of funds. The resource allocation does not take into account and consideration the inflationary pressure on the budget,’ she said.
Among department worst affected was EMA that had its funds delayed.
However, the committee recommended that there is need for strategic goals to be pursued.
Hon Masuku-Chinanzvavana added, ‘There is need for close monitoring and evaluation if environment and natural resources programs and projects. This must embrace implementation of multilateral environment agreements as well as researches on environmental issues affecting the nation,’
Masuku-Chinanzvavana who is Proportinal Represenative for Zvimba said there is need for sustainable land, wildlife forest management as well as catering for pollution management.
The parliament committee suggested that this can only be achieved through capacity building of workers and stakeholders.
‘There is need for environment public awareness, education and training, We need to harness tourism development through promotion by marketing where we have bilateral and multi- lateral cooperation,’ noted the committee.