Home » General » Sustained Anti-Pollution Drive Needed

The toughening stance on polluters is highly commendable and it is hoped that this is heralding a new era in which the responsible authorities lead the nation in taking due waste disposal measures.It is horrifying to hear that arsenic and other harmful chemicals are being pumped wantonly into the water system and municipal authorities need to use an ever-increasing variety of other chemicals – at great cost to ratepayers – to then purify it for human use.

There has not been enough public education on why the man on the street should be worried about pollution and pushing Government to act as a matter of urgency.

Incidences of cancer and resultant fatalities, the experts tell us, are on the rise. These have been directly linked to what we consume, with drinking water turning out to be a major culprit in the major cities of Harare and Bulawayo.

Individuals who can afford to buy quality drinking water only make up a very small fraction of the population and most of us rely on what the local authorities give us.

Even those who can afford to buy certified bottled water should be concerned with the pollution of the water systems as it is used in places like restaurants and factories to prepare foodstuffs that they consume.

Of course, we are all operating in a harsh economic environment. This means that solutions should not drive industry towards closure through knee-jerk ultimatums.

On the other hand, all industries that have been polluting drinking water should show good faith and the will to change over to greener operations.

There is need for innovation and adoption of the three R’s which make the pillars of green living. These are reduce, reuse and recycle.

The pre-treatment plants which Government has ordered all identified polluters to install should be designed with those three tenets in mind.

It would also be useful for us to look at how the mega cities in the world are dealing with the challenge posed by pollution.

For example, the Japanese have developed a clever way of using waste to clean water sources in a manner that is sustainable and cost-effective. For a country that does not have the most robust of economies, it makes sense for Zimbabwe to explore such ideas for implementation.

Over and above those polluters who have been named and shamed, there exists a vast informal and unregistered sector that is also polluting drinking water countrywide.

It is a fact that there are many backyard industries in almost every field and something must urgently be done to regulate the effluent discharged by these home-based activities.

All progressive people of Zimbabwe sincerely hope that the current clampdown is not just another talkshop that many of our policy implementers are famous for and that matters are not being brought to light only to be swept under the carpet after a few weeks.

What is needed is a sustained drive to reduce pollution to the barest minimum.

And in the final analysis, the clampdown cannot be divorced from the anti-corruption drive.

Many company owners and managers will be tempted to bribe their way out of compliance and this cannot be allowed to happen.

Source : The Herald