Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau
First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to maintain a clean environment to prevent water-borne diseases during the coming rainy season.
The First Lady said this yesterday as she led a clean-up exercise at St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane.
She said it was important for the country to restore sanity in urban and rural areas to prevent diseases.
“With the rainy season that is fast approaching us, let us clear all waste dumps and storm drains to prevent clogging. Let’s not expose ourselves to diseases such as cholera and typhoid,” said the First Lady.
She also said she was concerned about rampant littering along the highways.
“It is worrisome that there is rampant littering on the highway from Bulawayo to Lupane. I am urging everyone to take it upon themselves to make sure that waste is disposed of properly.
“I want to urge the relevant Ministries and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to focus on the highways for the next clean-up exercise,” said the First Lady.
She urged local authorities to form synergies with churches, academic institutions and other organisations to ensure that waste management challenges are sustainably addressed.
“Let us all support the efforts by the leadership to address waste management issues in the country.
“Let us all stand against littering,” said Amai Mnangagwa.
“The greatest challenge in waste management is negative human attitudes and behaviour that leads to rampant littering and waste dumping at undesignated places.”
The First Lady commended the commitment shown by people since the inception of the noble programme.
“All sectors of the economy and society have been taking part in cleaning their surroundings and it is amazing. Such collective action must be cherished and we should rope in every citizen to ensure continuity of this programme until we create the future we want of a clean and safe environment without leaving anyone behind,” said the First Lady.
“Together we have made a positive impact on the environment. However, for us to sustain our efforts, every one of us, young and old must play a significant part in this national call. The time for action is now.”
The First Lady said Lupane was a hub of numerous safari operations and timber concessions besides being home to Lupane State University.
“There is no doubt therefore that Lupane is set for growth, but such can only be achieved if Lupane has sound waste management strategies,” she said.
The First Lady wound up the clean-up exercise by planting a tree before donating an assortment of equipment, furniture and foodstuffs to the hospital.
The clean-up campaign was also attended by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo, senior Government and Kusile Rural District Council (RDC) officials and the Lupane community.