The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has urged Manyame-Beatrice Rural District Council (RDC) to act against sand poachers who are “terrorising” Seke-Chitungwiza areas, causing environmental degradation.
This comes amid reports of sand barons, leading to the creation of dangerous ponds and mini-lakes in most parts of Seke-Chitungwiza, which is under Manyame-Beatrice.
In an interview with Nhau, EMA education and publicity Amkela Sidange said the local authority as the owner of the land must protect the land from the land barons to avoid environmental degradation.
“We encourage the local authorities to make sure that they bring to book all the culprits to avoid the destruction of land by the sand poachers,” said Sidange.
“As EMA, the sole regulator of the of issues to do with the environment, we urge the local authorities to act before we intervene because they are the owners of the land. We encourage the local authorities to provide suitable areas to groups of people who are fully registered with EMA and the local authorities to carry out the business of sand legally.
“This is because we need to protect the land, monitor the activities of people and avoid land degradation as they will be operating with guidelines from EMA and the local authorities.”
Chief Executive of Manyame-Beatrice RDC Mrs Farirai Guta condemned the behaviour of sand barons that are causing land degradation to pegged residential stands of Seke-Chitungwiza.
“We are not sure of the exact people who are doing this but we are very worried about the behaviour of these sand poachers,” Mrs Guta said.
“The council is facing very serious challenges from the sand poachers especially in the areas of Seke–Chitungwiza which are under Manyame-Beatrice RDC. This is because of the proximity to Harare and we understand much of the sand is being taken to Harare,” she said.
“We encourage members of the community to make the applications in groups so that we give them the place to take the sand and we, later on, refill the affected places to avoid land degradation.” Nhau/Indaba
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