Minister of Environment Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri has urged school authorities to put environmental management matters on staff meeting agendas to encourage efficient use of resources, reducing environmental degradation as well as conserving bio-diversity.
By Jeoffrey Ncube
Addressing delegates who attended the World Environment Day commemorations at Mukuvisi woodlands on Friday, Muchinguri, represented by Miss Pauline Vhakama, an official from the Environment ministry said her she is working on curtailing the alarming rate of environmental degradation by targeting the school children who are leaders of tomorrow.
“In Zimbabwe, we have learnt that school children play very pivotal role in conserving our valuable biological resources and this Eco schools project developed by Mukuvisi woodlands Education Unit seeks to compliment our efforts as the Ministry of Enviroment, Water and in attempting to curtail the alarming rate of environmental degradation by targeting the school children,’ catch them young’, as these are the future leaders of tomorrow“she said.
She added that the Ecoschool program will develop learners in hands on experience while developing knowledge and skills such as time management and others.
“Eco-school programme offers a platform to develop our learners, incalcate positive attitudes towards environmental issues as has the potential to inspire children`s interest and appreciation of the environment.
“It offers school children with hands on experience, a chance to tackle their environment ,develop knowledge and skills such as time management, public speaking, self drive,observation,recording of data and working with people, ‘said Opah Muchinguri.
UNICEF Representative ,Dr Mohamed Ayoya said children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards and their exposure to environmental contaminants can cause irreversible damage to their growth and development.
“Every year more than three million children die from environment related causes; this makes the environment one of the most critical factors in child mortality.
“Air pollution, contaminated water, inadequate sanitation, toxic hazards, disease vectors, ultra-violet radiation and degraded ecosystems pose risks in the environment for children and most cases for their mothers as well,“ said Mohamed.
Meawhile, the Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Enrico De Agostini said schools around the country will compete for the best environmental project dealing with water conversation with the prize giving set for 16 June at Greenwood Park.
“Wetland Dry schools around the country have been invited to compete for the best environmental project dealing with water conversation.
“The response we`ve had so far is overwhelming: over 30 schools from across the country have submitted their works and our committee is hard at work to select the best of them in the run up to the prize giving ceremony which will take place next week Friday,16th of June at Greenwood park,” said Agostini.
The World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly conference that was held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972 which also lead to the formation of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and it is held all over the world and it is observed on June 5th every year.