A new fence has gone up and surveying activities are taking place on the Borrowdale Vlei. Vleis such as Borrowdale are the source of the City’s water providing a myriad of water provisioning functions free of charge: storage, purification and filtering, flood attenuation, climate change mitigation and groundwater recharge to name a few. The entire area is a continuous wetland ecosystem and any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) applications for development should have been turned down by the Environment Management Agency (EMA).
The EIA process is obliged to undertake public consultation meetings but these have not taken place. The Environmental Management Act overrides any other legislation regarding wetland issues. Development can be located on more suitable land but the loss of these wetlands is incalculable. According to the Secretary General of the United Nations shortage of fresh water is the second greatest crisis facing mankind after climate change. Harare and environs is already water stressed on the supply side but the loss of its only source of water, the vleis (open green spaces or wetlands), has not yet been factored into the equation.
Residents of Harare should be very alarmed and stand up and demand that these areas be protected, restored and conserved, immediately. There is no time to waste. We cannot live without water.
If you’re concerned about the loss of our wetlands – of which the Borrowdale Vlei is just one – please call one or more of the following:
Phone EMA on these numbers and demand to see the Environmental Impact Assessment and EMA’s EIA permit of approval. Call Steady Kangata Public Relations and Publicity – 0773 404 779.
Mrs Shoko, Director Environmental Protection – 0712 236 835 or 705661
Phone the general EMA number at Makombe Building – 705661.
Chris Mushava – EIAs – 0772 630 456
What are you doing about this? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected]