BY MELODY CHIKONO
GURUVE rural district is warming up to climate change mitigation as the community gathers momentum in complying with the by-laws enacted to ensure measures on natural resources conservation are implemented.
The Guruve council is also in the process of capacitating duty bearers to effectively implement the by-laws in order to ensure that communities minimise activities that contributed to climate change.
In 2020 Guruve Rural District Council got a nod to implement a raft of by-laws that they put in place as they sought to positively contribute and understand climate change impacts, mitigation and adaption measures.
The efforts are also being buttressed by efforts of Environment Africa, whose “Up scaling resilience for food nutrition and security enhancement project” is also capacitating duty bearers to implement and monitor implementation of the by-laws.
Some of the by-laws stipulate that any person who undertakes mining projects or any other projects that result in environmental degradation in the council area shall submit a rehabilitation plan to the council. The plan should contain rehabilitation works that will be undertaken before abandonment or closure of the project.
“Where a land owner or occupier as the case may be, requests the council to carry out environmental works on his or her land, or in the event that the owner fails to do so on his or her own, the council may undertake such environmental works as necessary to rehabilitate the environment and recover the costs associated with such works from the land owner in relation to burning of vegetation, the council may make measure in accordance with Part VIII to the Forestry Act [Chapter 19:05] which shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the notice of intention to burn standing vegetation, fireguards and the extinguishing of fire. Concerning Invasive alien species, every owner or occupier of land within the council area shall keep their land free from invasive alien species as specified in Part I to the Fifth Schedule of the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27]. S.I. 225 of 2020 1411.The council may give a written measure on the occupier or owner of the land where invasive alien species is growing to clear or cause to be cleared any invasive alien species from his or her land,” reads part of the by-Laws.
The council has also come up with provisions that prohibit abuse of wet lands as well as the unlawful cutting down of trees.
Councillor Patrick Machengu told NewsDay that the environmental harming activities have drastically gone down in the past two years as people comply with the by-laws.
He said this is despite the fact that the monitors have not even commenced their work.
Machengu said they were awaiting approval of their 2022 budget by the Ministry of Finance.
“Destruction of the environment through cutting down of trees, siltation of rivers through cultivation on riverbanks, excessive extraction of river sand have been some of the activities that we have been battling with. But I must say in the past two years these activities have gone down remarkably. These by- laws did not come from us but, they were from the people. We sat down as Guruve Rural District Council with the help of Environment Africa before introducing the by-laws to the community. We then made consultations in all the 24 wards of Guruve and the people submitted their inputs. So as councillors we are there to implement the by-laws.” he said.
Chairperson of the Mukwenya irrigation scheme in Guruve, Febbie Chidukutse said their project has benefited from climate mitigation schemes, whereby members of the scheme were also implementing the knowledge to their homesteads while adhering to the by-laws of the land they are working on.
Focus2 field school chairperson Shupikai Chitauro said the groups’ members have been implementing adaptation measures exposing themselves to alternative livelihood operations which promote conservation of forests while encouraging tree planting, and they now have their gum tree woodlot in place.
Generally, projects that promote conservation agriculture as one of the climate smart techniques aimed at increasing food security to the vulnerable capable rural small holder farmers have been pivotal in embracing the districts’ by-laws by the community.
Under the Environment Africa “Up -scaling resilience for food nutrition and security enhancement project”, 300 farmers in Guruve district have been inculcated in conservation farming techniques and post- harvest technologies.
- This story was produced by Zimbabwe Independent. It was written as part of the WAN_IFRA Women in News Social Impact Reporting Initiative(SIRI). The content is the sole responsibility of the author and the publisher.