Concerns over wetland encroachment

07 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Concerns over wetland encroachment Part of the wetland along Chatsworth Road as you go up towards Alpes Road.

Suburban

Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

RESIDENTS of Mt Pleasant in Harare have raised concerns over the encroachment and development on a wetland area between Alpes Road and Chatsworth Road.

Three hectares of land from Lanner Road at the corner with Alpes Road to the edge of the river close by have been cleared in preparation for the development of stands and construction.

Residents have also reported instances of unauthorised trenching, fencing, and construction activities within the wetland, raising fears of potential damage to essential infrastructure such as the sewage system serving Mt Pleasant and Vainona households.

“The entire wetland, including the area around Mt Pleasant Sports Club and Golf Club, has been invaded. This is a serious issue, and we urge our leaders to take immediate action to address this environmental threat,” said a resident.

Trenching along the path to sewer pumping station house in the background.

Commented another resident: “The encroachment and development activities on the wetland are alarming. We need all responsible authorities to work together with the residents to preserve these vital wetlands for the benefit of the community and the environment.”

Speaking during a discussion on the Ward 17 WhatsApp residents group, Mt Pleasant residents said their district officer Mrs Marian Mverechena had taken action by involving the police, highlighting the potential criminal nature of these activities and the risks they pose to critical infrastructure and the environment.

Wooden cabins put up on Chatsworth

The encroachment and development on the wetland have prompted legal and environmental concerns. Residents have also raised objections to the development of cluster houses in the area, citing the destruction of the wetland as a primary reason for their objection.

Legal interventions have been sought to address the potential infringements on constitutional rights related to a healthy environment, protection of the environment for future generations, and access to safe, clean, and potable water. Concerns have been raised about the potential air, noise, and water pollution resulting from the development, as well as the long-term degradation of the wetland, which could lead to flooding and constraints on water supplies to residents.

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