Avoiding pollution creates a safe environment

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By Nevson Mpofu

POLLUTION falls in three categories, air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution. It poses a lot of dangers and affects people’s health in many ways. Human beings have since time immemorial been victims of hazardous conditions especially in urban centres where large numbers of people live. It is because of human negligence that the environments of urban centres have been spoiled leading to garbage which pollutes the air. In the modern world, industrialisation has come with emission of pollutants which affects the life of the population. Those affected live in the cities and towns, high density suburbs and mining towns. The world’s population, standing at 6,3 billion people, half of them in developing countries are severely affected by pollution. Environmental sources by research journalists had common views on the effects of the pollution on our cities and towns, companies and the general population failing to place litter in bins. According to a workshop held by Practical Action in Harare, it was learnt that litter played a role in polluting the environment. Garbage consists of unrecycled substances, papers, containers, juice cards, old currency, empty food boxes from named and pinpointed companies and lastly fumes from companies which dump their products in rivers like Hunyani and Mkuvisi. One source that works with Community Environment Project based in Mbare, Mrs Catherine Zinyemba, cited some companies as the major culprits in polluting the environment. “It is the behaviour of big companies which are manufacturing at the expense of the environment yet at the end of the day they ignore their litter strewn all over”, said Mrs Zinyemba. Another source who declined to be named criticised Zimbabwe’s poor environmental laws and policies saying they do not tighten screws on law breakers. “A strong law is the one which can see a clean country without any pollution and it is high time countries with expanding populations enforce protective legal frameworks,” said the source. Zimbabwe’s Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27) Section 70 prohibits the discharge of waste. It further states that no person shall discharge or dispose of waste whether generated within or outside Zimbabwe in such a manner as to cause pollution to the environment or illhealth to any person. It lastly reads: “every person whose activities generate waste shall employ measures essential to minimise waste through treatment, recycling and reclamation”. Discharges from polluting companies have caused death to fellow employees. The mining industry disposes of dangerous waste which causes asthma, tuberculosis, and asbestosis from asbestos fumes and lung cancer. Skin diseases called dermatitis and choleric are caused by polluted hard water. Pollution is the major cause of death to urban industrial workers. Companies therefore need to play a vital role in managing urban waste environment so as to keep cities clean, people healthy and companies safe to work at. Human health in towns and cities has drastically deteriorated in many developing countries because of air-bone and water-borne diseases. These diseases are caused by the damage done to the environment. An environmental health officer with the Red Cross and Red Crescent International, Alex Abwezi contacted for a comment said: “Disposed waste in towns and cities is responsible for half of the death of industrial workers who fight hard to earn a living through working. However, they end up succumbing to air and water- borne diseases, he said. “The general population also becomes a victim.” Some companies have been blamed for discharging effluence into rivers close to urban centres. The kind of discharge kills fish in nearby lakes and dams. Historically Lake Chivero has over the years been a victim of its fish which have been destroyed in large numbers. Such bad practices are the work of industrialists who discharge bad chemicals in rivers. Your responses to this article are welcome on E-mail – nmnevsonmpofu755@ gmail.com

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