Masvingo Residents Forum Building a Winning Advocacy Strategy in the Conservation of the Environment

After a persistent call for help from residents and environmental activists that form the membership of Masvingo Residents Forum (MRF), MRF sought to engage the city of Masvingo on the discharge of raw sewer into the Mucheke and Shakashe Rivers in the City of Masvingo.

This came out as a result of numerous reported incidences of spotted fish and other aquatic species that were seen dead floating along both the rivers. MRF gave the City of Masvingo a 48-hour ultimatum to immediately act responsible and stop the discharge of raw sewer into these rivers.

It is highly encouraging to note that on 15 June 2022 the discharge of raw sewer into the Mucheke and Shakashe Rivers has since stopped and this can be attributed to the advocacy efforts of MRF and environmental activists that are affiliated with the organization.

This incident is not the first time that the City of Masvingo has been in the spotlight for contaminating water bodies. Over the past 5 years the city has been fined three times by the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe for contamination.

These practices by Masvingo City Council endanger aquatic life and downstream communities that rely on the Mucheke and Shakashe river’s water for domestic uses.

The continued discharge of raw sewage and industrial effluent by the council is in direct contravention of section 57(1) as read with section 70 of the Environmental Management Act Chapter 20:27, which prohibits the discharge or application of any poison or toxic, noxious or obstructing matter, radioactive waste or other pollutants into the aquatic environment in contravention of water pollution control standards.”

Masvingo Residents Forum will continue to advocate for the respect of environmental and conservation rights within the local government spectrum.

Source: Masvingo Residents Forum (MRF)

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