Improper solid waste disposal and continual mushrooming of illegal dumpsites closer to residential suburbs is posing a health hazard to children.
We, as the children and youth view this phenomenon as a social injustice considering that from the experience of Harare local authority, the problem of urban solid waste management has continued unabated despite the existence of a conducive policy and legislative environment. This reveals that the problem is one of inadequate enforcement rather than absence or ineffectiveness of the laws and policies. Equally important are public awareness education and campaigns on the existing laws and by-laws on waste management and the obligations they place on residents, institutions and Local Authorities.
Whilst echoing our pledges and commitments towards this year’s 2020 Universal Children Day we have harmoniously selected Action on Waste Management as our key demand in addressing Environmental Child Rights (#ECR) because;
A clean & healthy environment is a proper physical growth & children development issue;
A clean and healthy environment is our life & only survival;
A clean & healthy environment is our constitutional right issue;
A clean & health environment is a healthcare issue;
A clean & healthy environment is an equality issue;
A clean & healthy environment is a social issue
Fully aware that this stance gravitates well with the provisions within our Zimbabwean Constitutional rights (Sec 73), to an environment that is not harmful to health and its preservation for the benefit of present and future generations, we ask you to be part of the solution.
Acknowledging the role that we can all play towards proper management of solid waste in the areas we stay through; Education and awareness campaigns about the effects of reckless dumping and burning of waste, undertaking clean up campaigns, Constructing Composts at our homes.
We, the children and youth in Harare and of note from Budiriro voluntarily commit to work hand in hand with our city council to pursue some of these initiatives to curb the problem of solid waste in our community. However, we cannot do it alone.Therefore, our humble plea is for the;
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Publicity and Information Department to engage the Harare City Council Public Relations department in the development of a short instruction book to distribute to citizens on waste management practices such as waste separation at source, recycling, reusing and composting.
- Distribution of online “sustainable waste management” guidebook via social media to all community members and students
- Capacitation and resourcing of the city council workers so that they can undertake regular waste collection
- Budiriro local authority Department of Central Services and Amenities should establish responsive binding code/by laws for solid waste management/integrated local solid waste management plans with the participation of children and youth
We the children and youth supported by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association are calling for social justice through Action towards solid waste as we celebrate our day.
‘As we celebrate the 2020 Universal Children Day, we call upon the local authority, government departments and institutions to act in solving environmental challenges. We as the Budiriro constituency which was once affected by Cholera with some community members having succumbed to the disease recognise this matter as urgent. Considering that our future as children are at stake,we endorse the #MyPlanetMyRights petition for the recognition of our children’s right to a clean and healthy environment. We call upon everyone to join the Environmental Child Rights campaign and sign this global petition https://t.co/TAnmo9U8DF?amp=1.
Compiled by: Rodrick Moyo-Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Budiriro 1 School, Budiriro Primary School, Mounnt Camel School, Knowledge Planet College, Budiriro Environmental Ambassadors and Miracle Helping Hand Foundation Manyame Nature Conservancy)
Source: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association