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Masvingo community, EMA in sustainable wetlands utilisation

Masvingo community and the Environmental Management Agency has embarked into a sustainable utilisation of wetlands.

This was revealed by Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Mangaliso Nqobizitha Ndlovu.

He said the community had a function at Njovo village (Primary School) in Ward 18, Masvingo Rural District Council where the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry was part of it during commemoration of the World Wetlands Day; an anniversary commemoration of the Ramsar Convention, signed in Ramsar, Iran 1971.

"This community in Partnership with EMA started a project of sustainably utilizing their wetland, by fencing it off, increasing water harvesting methods and directing this water into their wetland. In no time it was restored to its mid seventies levels (according to the elders there)," Ndlovu said.

"It has seen their nearby weir become perennial despite the successive drought seasons. The tree species in the wetland is now more of a rainforest..... and from weir community livelihood projects have been commissioned, in partnership with strategic partners Aquaculture Zimbabwe and EMA. A 2 ha nutrition garden has been put under irrigation, a fisheries project in partnership with Zimparks, the community also has beehives which Allied Timbers has joined, a poultry project and an orchard which Forestry Commission is sponsoring and soon they will be doing pen fattening."

He said jobs at source are being created (curbing rural urban migration), community livelihoods improved.

"But most importantly, we have practical examples and testimonies of and on the importance of our wetlands and how they could benefit us if we sustainably use them. It is always better to educate than to regulate; the impact of climate change can be mitigated if we start doing simple things right," he said.

"Our wetlands offer a unique opportunity to improve food security and promote livelihoods while playing a critical role in regulating the supply of quality water. This community has a testimony to share; no place in Zimbabwe can be too far to visit.... set a date with the Njovo community under chief Shumba..."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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