POLICE in Harare have arrested and fined at least 700 litterbugs, as the government tightens its screws on environmental pollution.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri told NewsDay last Friday that the arrests were part of a sustained anti-litter campaign that started on January 1 this year.
“The police have arrested more than 700 now and we are continuing. We have also come up with a comprehensive strategy, which takes on board the major stakeholders, those that use plastics, bottles or plastic bags,” she said.
“They have come up with beautiful interventions. Companies like Delta Beverages have programmes that are far reaching, where they are proposing to erect cages to collect bottles and plastics.”
Muchinguri said she had also tasked the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) to come up with bins and stickers that would be mandatory for all public service vehicles, so that they create awareness to the travelling public on how to dispose of litter.
She urged farm produce vendors and restaurants to dig pits, where they will bury their bio-degradable waste.
“We are also concerned with vendors that sell roasted mealies and take-aways and we are saying dig pits to bury your litter, since it is degradable. There are fertiliser companies that buy these materials, so this is a sustainable waste management system,” she said.
“And we are also saying to Ema, come up with bins and make it mandatory for every commuter omnibus to have a stickers advising passengers to deposit their litter in bins. Before departure they should announce all the litter they have should be declared, so that no one throws litter around.”
Muchinguri launched the campaign dubbed My City, My Pride in Harare in December last year, where she said offenders would be fined a minimum of $20.
She also urged Zimbabweans to use water sparingly and harvest it, when they can, as the country is experiencing the effects of the El Nino-induced drought.
“We have to make do with the water that we have because we do not know if we are going to receive enough rain. We want people to harvest water. Everyone must have a drum to capture water from their roofs, so that they can irrigate their gardens when it is no longer raining,” she said.