BY JAMES MUONWA
A group of activists passionate about preserving the environment has embarked on various projects to promote sustainable mining among artisanal and small-scale miners.
The non-profit body, National Environment Awareness Trust (Neat), is also lobbying for novel conservation farming methods in resettlement areas, where A1 farmers are reportedly depleting forests as they wantonly cut down trees to make charcoal used for heating, cooking and, at times, curing tobacco.
Neat founder and chairperson, Timothy Chizuzu told Standard Style that his organisation’s main thrust is to instill environmental stewardship among Zimbabwean
“As a trust, we seek to raise the bar when it comes to ‘green issues’ that speak to our environment to make it clean, safer and protect it for future
generations,” said Chizuzu.
He lamented the massive land degradation and pollution of water bodies with harmful chemicals such as mercury and cyanide used in gold ore processing, blamed
mainly on artisanal and small-scale miners.
Chizuzu said Neat aimed to engage miners and assist them to formalise their operations to enable them to contribute towards environmental conservation and
“We need to impart in our people knowledge on the extent of the impacts of environment damage that leads to climate change, scarring the land and other adverse
effects on the environment,” he said.
The Neat boss said his organisation, which conducts regular clean-up campaigns, will extend its target groups to encompass all economic sectors.
Among its objectives, Neat capacitates environmental impact assessment (EIA) practitioners through training and offering certified educational programmes.
It also educates communities on sustainable living, climate change and “greening” the environment.
The trust’s mandate also involves lobbying for the implementation of environmental laws and international best practices inorder to address local challenges
perculiar to Zimbabwe.
“We stand for clean air, safe water and land, healthy communities and corporate accountability,” added Chizuzu.
The organisation’s punchline is A Clean Environment, A Healthy Nation.