THE MIDLANDS Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya has urged local authorities and industries to emulate Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company in adopting effective waste management practices to protect the environment.
In a speech reach on his behalf by Gweru district administrator Shepherd Marweyi at the commemorations of the World Environment Day at the Sino Zimbabwe complex in Gweru last Thursday, Machaya said water pollution was one of the major environmental challenges the country was facing and it needed to be urgently dealt with.
“Streams of waste are coming from various activities and all being concentrated in our rivers and dams,” he said.
“Chemical wastes have catastrophic effects and are finding their way to our water sources and fatal contamination is on the increase through sewer bursts and unreliable overloaded treatment works.”
Machaya said challenges needed individuals, communities, schools, the corporate world and civic society to unite to ensure that proper waste management and disposal mechanisms were instituted as a measure of preventing pollution of water bodies.
He also urged local authorities and industries to adopt effective waste management practices, including air pollution abatement practices such as those displayed at Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company.
“Sino Zimbabwe dust is bagged and people can breathe clean air in a place that is noise free even though machines are running. Effluent is being discharged in lined sewage ponds,” he said.
Sino Zimbabwe Cement managing director Wang Yong said the Environment Management Agency chose his company as the venue to host this year’s event because the company adhered to regulations set by the agency.
He said the company had installed a filter system throughout the plant to reduce dust emissions.
“The company encourages local families to dig wells and offers them cement to protect their wells,” Wang said.
“As a result these families are now accessing clean water from unpolluted wells.
“The company is also giving cement free of charge to the local community for them to build latrines.
“This is helping the local community in improving their s with sanitation and avoiding polluting the environment with faecal matter and other waste.
“As a result their water sources are protected from polluting waste and faecal matter which in some instances results in people being exposed to preventable communicable diseases such as cholera.”
The commemorations were held under the theme “Raise Your Voice — Say no to Pollution”.