ENVIRONMENT minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu has called for increased efforts in environmental management and protection of natural resources in Matabeleland South Province.
Speaking during the opening of the new Environmental Management Agency(Ema) offices in Esigodini, Umzingwane District in Matabeleland South Province on Thursday, the minister said there was a need for Ema to ramp up efforts to protect natural resources.
This, he said, was due to the fact that Umzingwane was rich in mineral resources and was under threat from land degradation and water contamination due to illegal mining activities in the district.
“The construction of the new office signifies total commitment to creating an enabling environment towards promoting sustainable utilisation of natural resources and protection of the environment,” Ndlovu said.
The minister said the development gave the district a necessary facelift and would go a long way in addressing environmental problems in the district.
“The initiative gives Umzingwane the much deserved facelift, which is crucial for enhancing the Ema’s corporate image,” Ndlovu said.
He added that the development was in line with the country’s development and devolution agendas, which promotes the development of small towns and rural communities.
“The milestone achievement also fits perfectly into the devolution agenda, which promotes the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructure not only in cities such as Harare or Bulawayo, but also at a local level,” he said.
Ndlovu further noted that the construction of contemporary offices in all districts throughout the country resonates well with the decentralisation programme.
He also commended the environmental authority for the new building, describing it as a show of commitment to monitoring and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.
“I applaud the EMA board and management for championing the noble cause of capacitating the hinterland in resonance with the aspirations of the devolution agenda”.