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MIHR to host inaugural Environment Summit

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) is set to host the inaugural Bulawayo Environment Summit and National E-Waste conference to discuss strategies and measures to ensure improved environmental management in Bulawayo as well as to enhance national e-waste management in all communities of Zimbabwe.

Khumbulani Maphosa, MIHR coordinator, told CITE in an interview that the virtual summit and conference will take place between March 10 and March 12, 2021.

Maphosa noted the summit, organised by MIHR and Community Podium, will utilise WhatsApp and other online conferencing spaces due to the current restrictions on physical gatherings.

“Key activities will include: the online Bulawayo Environment Summit on 10 and 11 March to be attended by Bulawayo residents. The Summit will discuss residents’ concerns on environmental management and further formulate strategies and ideas to address those concerns. Ultimately, a submission paper will be prepared and submitted to the local authority,” he said.

“The Bulawayo environment summit will be open to every resident who wants to participate, no one is excluded. All residents are encouraged to participate. However the E-Waste conference will have a strict criteria for attendance.”

He said special interest groups will be included to ensure that no one is left on the outside.

“To ensure that everyone is well represented we are engaging organisations that work with young people, people living with disabilities, the elderly and those who work with women and children. This is a social movement of environmental rights and E-Waste.If it means that we will have up to ten Whatsapp groups so be it, because our main aim is to engage all residents and encourage them to speak out about issues affecting them,” Maphosa said.

“For the E-Waste conference we will be having representatives from other cities and towns as well as stakeholders who are involved in litter clearance and recycling businesses. We will also have non-governmental organisations which focus on environmental issues.”

Maphosa said the organisers anticipate that the Summit will result in the active and progressive realisation of a clean and safe environment that is not harmful to human health and well-being as enshrined inSection 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

He said other local organisations partnering in the Summit include Radio Dialogue and Gemstone International Foundation for Transformation and Kaizen Champions Foundation.

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