All roads led to Checheche growth point last week as the world commemorated World Environment day and World day to Combat Desertification combined.
The commemorations were spiced up by dramas on how to keep the environment clean and how to preserve natural resources and entertainment by Ward 27 Muchongoyo dance group which whisked the crowd away with its exuberant dance moves that show the aspect of Zimbabwe Culture ,tradition and history.
Speaking at the occasion Clasport Karumanzira Chipinge District Forestry Officer said this day was a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and collaboration at all levels.
“Checheche is now bad, its slowly becoming a dessert before our eyes and all is happening because of deforestation .if we look at this growth point we can clearly see that its only sand left ,”said Karumanzira,
He added that Desertification threatens the livelihoods of some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
“Desertification is largely caused by unsustainable use of scarce resources. Checheche growth point now is now surviving on wood you are taking from Gudo Village .It’s not Checheche only they are other areas around that are in this kind of state,” he said.
He added that the issue of desertification may seem not important for people, who live far away from deserts and regions suffering from droughts but the effects are seen worldwide.
“Dry land countries are extremely vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate variability and change, which can have a devastating environmental impact on soil, water and biodiversity.
In August the rains are coming and all the sand will be swept away and then it will not be a pleasant site .
Public Relations Manager for Environmental Agency (EMA), Alice Chivese said people should always make efforts to keep their environment clean.
“Cleanliness starts in the home and extends outside to your surroundings.
Keeping the environment is not only the work of City Council it is our job to as citizens,” said Chivese.
She added that people are cutting trees and not replacing them.
“Let’s have programmes to grow trees exotic, Indigenous ones among others and keep up with the times because trees give us life,” she said.
Chipinge District Administrator (DA) Edgars Seenza in his Keynote address said World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought highlights the problems faced by millions of people who live in dryland regions.
“Desertification has been called the greatest environmental challenge of our times .I call on traditional leaders in areas surrounding to urge people to preserve natural resources and not destroy them,” said Seenza.
He added that human factors, such as overgrazing and clear-cutting land, can be controlled by improving agricultural and grazing practices.
“It is not the advance of deserts, though it can include the encroachment of sandbanks on land. Rather, it is persistent land degradation. Desertification is not always inescapable. If people are taught on how to improve agricultural and grazing practices Checheche would be a better place,” said Seenza.
Munyaradzi Nkomo, Communication Officer for World Vision Zimbabwe in a Press Statement said the commemorations come as a response to some of the environment and natural resources challenges identified through Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) AND Natural Resource Management (NRM).
“This awareness campaign will help stimulate behaviour change and help communities be stewards to the environment and foster a culture of forest regeneration,” he said.
He added that resilience of community is directly linked to the condition of the natural environment and maintenance of productive natural resources.
“Management of resources and ecosystem services while sustaining livelihoods base becomes a key element for community resilience within the Enhancing Nutrition ,Stepping Up Resillience and Enterprise (ENSURE) project,” said Nkomo.
United States Agency International Development (USAID) representative Blessing Mutsoka said through ENSURE a USAID funded programme they have impacted lives of about 215 000 vulnerable and food insecure Zimbabweans in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces .
The commemorations were punctured by a clean-up campaign and a tree planting session forcusing proper and safe refuse and waste disposal community level, Managing underground water resources at community level through good watershed management (the underground water study show depleting underground water as we move further away from the save sub catchment and suggest a number of measures to recharge the aquifer).
The tree planting was done to mitigate against desertification and climate change smart and water saving agricultural practices.
This years world environment day was held under the theme ‘Go wild for Life’ and the world day to combat desertification was held under the theme ‘Protect Earth.Restore Land. Engage People’
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