The Harare City Council has promised to enact new measures to protect wetlands and these will include vetting golf clubs sited on wetlands.
Newly installed Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, speaking during a meeting with Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said his office is ready to champion protection of wetlands.
“As a Council, we will continue taking suitable action in making sure that the remaining wetlands in Harare are protected.
“We understand their importance to this city, especially considering that the city is built top of its water sources,” he said.
Mafume said Council will conduct an audit of the trustees who own golf clubs at some of the wetlands.
Harare Wetlands Trust Coordinator, Julia Pierini, echoed the same sentiments adding that wetlands are crucial to maintaining water sources hence should be protected at all costs.
“There is need to develop a policy that support the establishment and management of nature reserves on the remaining wetlands.
“We need to protect these wetlands so that they will be restored to their natural state.
Make Wetlands Recreational Parks
Pierini stated that her organisation was suggesting that all wetlands be used as recreational parks.
This will prevent people from illegally building infrastructure and practising agriculture on the land.
ZLHR and HWT have been lobbying Council and Government to protect wetlands in the city.
Increased urbanisation has however resulted in the massive invasion of wetlands with many new locations being created on wetlands.