GOVERNMENT has published a list of the wetlands in the capital city which fall under the City of Harare and its intention to declare the wetlands ecologically sensitive areas.
In a public notice, the Environmental Management Agency has invited anyone with objections to the intended declaration to the wetlands it listed to lodge their objections with the agency.
“Notice is hereby given that the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry wishes to exercise his powers in terms of section 113 (1) of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter20:27) by issuing a public notice of intention to declare wetlands in Harare Metropolitan Province listed below as ecologically sensitive areas. The declaration may impose limitations on development in and around such areas,” EMA said in the notice.
The northern suburbs of the capital city have the highest number of the wetlands, which have been under threat from incessant developments with some of the them already destroyed while others are in the processes of being destructed as building of houses, offices and other commercial properties is underway.
The list also includes wetlands under the Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa Local Board and Epworth Local Board.
Wetlands Under City of Harare:
University of Zimbabwe
National Sports Stadium
Wetlands Under City of Chitungwiza:
Wetlands Under Ruwa Local Board:
Damafalls Phase 3
Wetlands Under Epworth Local Board
“The extent and stretch is as defined in the Zimbabwe wetlands map (Wetlands Master Plan 2021) accessible on http://wetlands.ema.co.zw:8099/emawetlands/). Anyone with objections to this intended declaration of the wetlands listed above should formally write to the Environmental Management Agency email [email protected] All submissions objecting to the contents of the notice below should be done by the 17th of October 2021,” read the EMA public notice.
EMA also published the public notice on its social media platforms and it immediately attracted an avalanche of comments from Harare residents with some pointing out certain areas the environmental body had left out.
Below are some of the responses from residents:
Nyandoro Misheck Tichaona: In line with the Ramsar agreement
Environmental Management Agency: Precisely Ange Oldfield Stevenson: I also just want to put a seed into minds. Buy a house four people lived in knock it down. Build a whole load (of) clusters 40 people live in. Where does their water come from? Now look at Edinburgh Road and the enormous pressure on the underground aquifers. Then round the corner on a wetland are huge housing projects. I don’t see Valley Road.
This is an all-important underground river system that runs from there all the way through to Hindhead Avenue Chisipite and onwards. Please, please EMA, save Valley Road system of wetlands before the greedy developers get it.
Tim Broderick: Ange Oldfield Stevenson. By this I assume you mean the Chisipite vlei which ends up dividing the two Oriel Schools. The notice says Chisipite wetland, but I am certain they mean it to be Lewisam vlei bounded by Shortheath, Kent and Enterprise Roads.
Ange Oldfield Stevenson: Tim Broderick, yes. The underground system flows from Valley Road vlei through to the very vlei you mention. Also take note that someone is trying to build on the wetland on Steppes Road. As you go down into that little bridge on the left behind Brookfields. I believe the public have appealed to stop this (for) some years it’s a river.
Munashe Andrew Mubwandarikwa: Well Tried what about area between Coventry Road and Ridgeview suburb running through Rugare suburb isn’t that wetland?
Gill Harrison: We have written to you about the illegal house building in the river bed and wetlands in Glen road, Glen Lorne, letter hand delivered, we heard nothing?
Oliver Joshua: Wetlands are Harare’s water source. They should not be developed on.
Tonderai Muzondi: Sleeping department. It’s too late all land is gone and some places we thought were inhabitable you signed them out.
Mai Ethan-George: What is the effect and purpose of this declaration though? Please educate us.
Muchaneta Makoni: Was long overdue.
Fiona Greiffenberg: Finally!
Stanley Kudzai Mwalamba: Well done EMA.
Ruvarashe Chiveto: Finally.