Harare Authorities Criticised for Permitting Wetlands Invasion

By Tendai Guvamombe

Harare City Council and the Environmental Management Agency are under fire for allowing invasion of wetlands in the old suburbs of Mabvuku Tafara amid reports that residents are grappling with water shortages a predicament which has seen all the natural reserves and springs drying up.

This was revealed on Thursday during a meeting on Wetlands Preservation and Awareness with  Tafara Residents convened by Harare Wetlands Trust.

Ephraim Mutami who have stayed in Tafara for the past 50 years expressed worry over the way City Authorities and Environmental Management Agency are allowing wetlands invasion in thier area which has been providing them with spring water.

“It is a known fact that Mabvuku has not been receiving water since time immemorial and we have been resorting to get water from springs which gives rise to the development of wetlands but our many worry is that City of Harare and EMA have been allowing infrastructural developments which are now threatening  existence of springs and wetlands which we desperately rely on.”

Currently the residents have filed court applications seeking  an urgent evacuation of a cement company which is situated in the Tafara Vleis which whose origins is traceble to a nearby spring. In the midst of seeking a legal route residents claim that City Council is found opposing the their bid through engagement of lawyers.

“Currently we are legally fighting for the removal of  a brick and cement company situated in one of our very own wetlands whom we have identified as Patsika who happened to be a businessman but what surprises us is a situation where by the City Fathers are now found fighting our legal bid as they now protect this guy through engagement of lawyers.”

“As the Mabvuku Tafara residents we are not going to tolerate any of these corrupt activities by the city council and other authorities, we shall fight hard to protect our Wetlands.”

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