EMA Orders Stop To Housing Developments On Monavale Wetlands

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By Ndatenda Njanike

THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has ordered property developers to stop housing developments on Monavale Wetlands.

Monavale Vlei is a protected area under the international Ramsar Convention, a treaty for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands to which the country has been a signatory since 2011.

EMA has however ordered property developers to stop the housing and all forms of developments on the site.

The development was revealed on Twitter by the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) which has also been advocating the protection of the environmentally sensitive areas.

“EMA orders property developer to stop housing developments on Monavale wetland, a #Ramsar site&critical primary water source in Harare following protests by @Harare_Wetlands&COSMO represented by @ZLHRLawyer,” read the tweet.

The property developers had in 2014 sought the approval of EMA to construct houses, but were refused the right to do so.

EMA rejected the application arguing that since the area was a wetland, it was vital for Harare’s water supply.

Zimbabwe is a Signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of 1971 and has domesticated provisions for the protection of wetlands under the Environmental Management Act (Cap 20;27), Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 on Environmental Management (Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection) Regulations and Government Gazette 380 of 2013.