The Minister of Minister of Water, Environment and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has attacked the Harare City Council for construction taking place in Harare wetlands during a press conference on the World Wetlands Day.
The Minister said that wetlands in the urban areas, which constitute 40 percent of the areas, are under threat from housing development.
“Regratably the City of Harare is still issuing stands in these (wet) lands and this should stop,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.
“I feel sorry for the state of Harare which is a result of poor planning at some point and the land barons. We have to engage the Ministry of Local Government.”
Harare city fathers have always clashed with residents and the Ministry of Water, Environment and Climate over the construction infrastructure on wetlands. Last week the council clashed with residents in Highlands over a wetland that had been allocated to a private land developer, with a pressure group stating that such destruction will have serious complications on the water table. The council also clashed with the Hillside, Kambuzuma and Eastlea residents for clearing a wetland for the construction of bus ranks and fuel service stations in the areas last year. The residents are however blamed for destroying wetlands through farming activities in urban settlements.
Zimbabwe has seven wetlands that have been declared as RAMSA sites after a treaty in Iraq. The country commemorated the World Wetland Day on the 2nd of February this year under the theme “World Wetlands for sustainable urban future”.