Facts on the nexus between church and solid waste management


Mean composition of waste generated in Zimbabwe
WASTE management is one of the most pressing issues confronting local authorities
throughout the province, while research shows that over 1.5 million tonnes of solid
waste are generated every year in urban areas.
Ninety percent of this solid waste generated is not collected due to lack of financial and
material resources. According to the Central Statistical Office and Macro International
Inc. (2007), the rapid pace at which urbanization has taken place in Zimbabwe over the
past 20 years has contributed to the waste management challenges in the country.
Thirty nine percent of the population now lives in urban areas compared to only 18
percent in 1962, 22 percent in 1982 and 32 percent in 1992.
Until recently, circular environmentalists are beginning to realise that technology alone
cannot solve the environmental crisis and no other group of institutions can wield the
particular moral authority of the religions in the fight against pollution. The potential of
the faith-based communities is simply enormous. Environmentalists firmly believe that
the role of religious organisations must be to give awareness to the believers on how to
clean, preserve nature and effectively protect the environment, considering that the
protection of the environment starts with the individual person himself, who is expected
to be always clean.
Strategies that can be adopted by the church
Mainstreaming environmental issues into church programmes and teachings could be
done through assigning and delegating functions of environmental management to a
specific group for easy of co-ordination and implementation. The same group should be
tasked with ensuring that there are sufficient sanitary facilities for outdoor church
gatherings such as refuse bins, toilets and protective clothing


Invite resource persons such as the Environmental Management Agency (EMA),
respective local authority, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders for education on
environmental issues. Consider the adoption of a street, roundabout, island or Central
Business District for regular clean up by the church. Do regular anti-litter programmes in
and around your place of worship. Source and brand refuse bins for donation to the
local authority. This will assist in bin provision.
Procurement at the church should be of environmentally friendly products, for example,
with preference of bottled drinks to cans, plates to kaylites, etc.
Time for self-introspection
What role are we playing as a church to curb littering and illegal dumping of waste?
Give your feedback on the Agency’s WhatsApp Number 0779565707 or Tollfree
“Reducing our carbon footprint is not only an environmental issue but a spiritual

one, too.”

These environmental facts and tips are brought to you by the Environmental
Management Agency, Mashonaland West Province. For further information you can visit
our website www.ema.co.zw. Alternatively call us on: 08677006244 or use our
WhatsApp platform 0779565707 or Toll Free 08080028. We are ready to listen.

Together – Protecting the Environment

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