Marange Development Trust Train Environmental Monitors

Compiled by Refias Sithole @ Marange development Trust.14/05/18

Marange development trust is a community based organisation which advocates for social ,economic, cultural and environmental rights in Marange . Therefore in its quest to safeguard environmental rights in Marange, the organization have trained 22 environmental monitors who were drawn from each of the eleven wards in Mutare west constituency. Each ward was represented by two people.

The training was conducted on the 11th of May 2018 at headman Mukwadas homestead. The training was facilitated by representatives from Environmental Management Agency in the district of Mutare. The main theme of the training workshop was to empower communities for sustainable management of natural resources and project implementation. The training workshop was also to increase knowledge and capacitate communities on environmental issues and rights in Marange .
The training involved natural resource mapping at ward level ,environmental problem identification and priority ranking as well as its management. The participants were able to identify and rank environmental problems in their specific wards according to their intensity. Deforestation was the major and first priority problem from all the wards present , mainly caused by overpopulation due to increase in demand for land and mining activities in Mukwada and Chiadzwa. The other environmental problems ranked include stream bank cultivation, gullies ,littering , pit and sand extraction and veld fires.
The workshop also encompassed and emphasised the importance of having environmental Impact Assessment when venturing into big projects . According to EMA , EIA should be conducted on public consultations with all relevant stakeholders . The training also included bee keeping projects and it was facilitated by Mrs Mtisi from EMA. She highlighted the requirements needed in bee harvesting projects and the importance of keeping bees in safeguarding the environment. There was positive responds from the participants who demostrated their understanding and knowledge on subjects taught.

The training workshop recommended the communities to have their own village woodlots and practice environmental free methods of farming as required by the laws from EMA. Mining companies were also encouraged to have a people oriented EIA which is licensed from EMA.