FAFROLIZ takes national clean-up to rivers

By Sharon Chimenya

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FRIENDS and Families of Rivers and Lakes in Zimbabwe (FAFROLIZ) and Masvingo
residents took this month’s clean-up campaign to Mucheke River to weed out the water
hyacinth.
The river is covered with water hyacinth which according to environmentalists survives when
rivers are heavily polluted as their survival is accelerated by the
presence of phosphates and other effluents.
FAFROLIZ chairperson, Pianos Chadya, said during an interview, that the local community
would engage themselves every clean-up campaign in cleaning the rivers in the city in
support of the Masvingo City Council project of the Kernen-Masvingo Park and the touristic
development.
“Our mandate is that of protecting our environment with the main focus on rivers and dams.
Mucheke River speaks volumes to the development of our city and it supports tourism
development. After we saw that the City Fathers are developing the Kernen Park, which is
adjacent to this river, we thought it wise to clean this river that it is part of the park,” he said.
“The President said no one and no place should be left behind and we saw that rivers were
being left behind when it came to clean-up campaigns. So every clean-up we shall be
cleaning our rivers.”
Chadya encouraged environmental organisations and researchers to join hands in the fight of
the invasive species. He called on the business community to assist with protective clothing
and food hampers for the volunteers of the initiative.
A Ward 1 resident, who was part of the group, said the programming would go a long way in
ensuring a clean Mucheke River whose waters were used for baptism ceremonies by different
churches and washing clothes before the pollution levels became too high.
“Before it was heavily polluted, we used to fetch water for bathing, for washing our clothes
and especially for the church, we used to baptise our people in this river but as for now we
cannot because the water is too dirty. So we have devoted ourselves to cleaning this river to
ensure that there is clean water,” she said.

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