The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is working on a zero litter campaign where it is targeting a clean and safe environment for all and schools have joined in the cause, working on various projects to make sure the areas surrounding them were not polluted by dirt.
Likewise, on a cold July morning, pupils at Eaglesvale Junior School are waiting at the school bus park as they are set to embark on one of the school’s scheduled clean-up campaign programme.
The programme is part of the school’s theme for the year where one pillar encourages responsibility and as they say, charity begins at home, they are to cover part of the school’s catchment area as they join the city fathers in their vision 2025 endeavour.
The City of Harare is targeting a world-class city status by the year 2025, part of which involves a litter-free environment.
Each term, Eaglesvale Junior school pupils go on clean-up campaigns in areas they come from so as to encourage responsibility and cleanliness.
“We started the clean-up campaigns this year, where part of the theme, PRIDE, speaks of responsibility in conducting these campaigns. We are teaching the students to be responsible, we start from a tender age so as to produce responsible citizens,” said Eaglesvale Junior School headmaster, Michael Bvumbe.
The clean-up campaigns have become part of the school’s calender where they go to selected areas once per term.
“We are also going to high-density areas as we seek to ensure that everyone joins in making the environment safer. The initiative is quite a success as the pupils are proving to be responsible citizens as far as maintaining a clean environment is concerned,” Bvumbe said.
Enock Mayida, synod secretary of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe, responsible for Eaglesvale Group of Schools said the initiative was a good cause which ought to be applauded.
“We are proud that the school is taking aboard one of our mission goals as a church to ensure that pupils in our schools are taught in a holistic manner,” he said.
Eaglesvale’s clean-up campaign co-ordinator, Mufaro Manyambiri said the essence of the campaigns was to ensure that the pupils embrace responsibility from a tender age.
“We are training our children with the hope of them becoming responsible citizens so that we have a litter-cautious generation,” she said.
In efforts to create and maintain a culture of cleanliness, the school also runs a weekly competition where the smartest classroom gets a reward.
First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa recently made calls on schools to have days set aside for anti-litter campaigns to ensure that a pollution-free environment is achieved.
On the other end, 150km away from Harare, pupils at Kwenda High School in Chikomba are also embarking on an anti-litter campaign, where they have donated bins to their school and are also initiating clean-up campaigns in surrounding areas like Sadza in an effort to keep the area clean.
Mashonaland East EMA environmental education and publicity officer, Astas Mabwe said his organisation had joined hands with schools so as to ensure that children were empowered to manage the environment.
Mabwe was leading the Kwenda delegation on a tour where the students visited several companies in line with waste recycling so that they have an understanding of the end results of their efforts.
“We have brought the students to tour some waste recycling and management entities like Waverly Plastics, National Waste Collection and Petricozim so that they get to appreciate the process of waste recycling.”
“They also toured Glen View High 1, which is the national model school that hosts a variety of projects to sustain the environment,” he said.
Early this year, EMA embarked on the “Zero tolerance to litter” drive and many schools have joined the campaign by conducting various activities promoting an anti-litter approach in areas surrounding them.