Is Burning Waste an Environmental Issue?

The Agency has been overwhelmed by complaints from various quarters on air pollution mostly emanating from backyard trash burning as well as the burning of trash in skip bins in and around the central business district. Undoubtedly, trash burning has become a common method to dispose
of garbage due to various reasons chief among them being the local authorities’ failure to regularly collect refuse. Besides polluting the air, the burning of trash raises a lot of health concerns. Most people who burn waste do not realise how harmful this practice is to their health, that of others and the negative impact this has on the environment. Pollutants from backyard burning of trash are released primarily into the air- close to ground level-with no pollution controls unlike industrial air pollution which can be regulated though the use of cleaner air pollution abatement technologies.
                                                                               Burning of waste  releases chemicals which are harmful to health


Water Pollution is the contamination of natural water bodies and this form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.


Nutrient Pollution

This occurs when high levels of nutrients from fertilisers, sewage end up in water bodies and in turn encourage algae and weed growth. This scenario has encouraged the growth of the Water hyacinth in Lake Chivero and Manyame River.

Manyame River infested with water weeds as a result of water pollution (2013).


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About EMA

The Environmental Management Agency is a statutory body responsible for ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment, the prevention of pollution and environmental degradation, the preparation of Environmental Plans for the management and protection of the environment. It was established under the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] and operationalised on the 17th of March 2003 through SI 103 of 2003.

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    A clean, safe and healthy environment, promoting a growing economy and empowered society.

    To regulate, monitor and promote sustainable management of natural resources and protection of the environment with stakeholder participation.

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