The nation of Zimbabwe is facing a challenge in waste management, particularly the urban centres and growth points. The drivers of this environmental challenge include;the rapid urban population increase and shortage of housing, resulting in higher population density in the existing suburbs and emergence of slums, change in consumption patterns, a scenario that has introduced new varieties of waste due to Globalisation and changes in packaging material,use of Old Inefficient Waste Management Technologies as well as low stakeholder participation.

Can clean up campaigns be the solution?

A Clean up campaign is a community-based, environmental initiative that inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment. Since the inception of this program, in Zimbabwe, stakeholders such as; communities, organisations, churches, businesses, schools and tertiary institutions have voluntarily taken it upon themselves to clean up public areas and other places where litter has been illegally dumped. From January 2015 to date, we have witnessed more than 70 voluntary clean-ups organised by stakeholders, who have since realised that a safe, clean and healthy environment is everyone’s responsibility.

According to the environmental calendar, September is the “Clean up month”. It therefore follows that clean up activities will be intensified during this month and everyone should play a part in order to keep our environment in a safe, clean and healthy state. The process of cleaning up is not the sole responsibility of the organising committee, but all responsible stakeholders including members of the public are expected to join in the clean up exercise

What does the law say?

 In Zimbabwe, section 4 (1) of the Environmental Management Act (Cap 20:27) of 2002 as well as section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment 20) of 2013 state the Environmental rights that every citizen is entitled to. Every citizen has a right to;

  •        a clean environment that is not harmful to health; and
  •        protect the environment for the benefit of present and future generations and to participate in the implementation of the promulgation of reasonable legislative policy and other measures that prevent pollution and environmental degradation.

Whenever you want to dispose of your litter, make sure that you are not depriving other citizens of their right to a clean environment that is not harmful to health. Ensure that you are protecting the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Always ask yourself this question; “Is this the appropriate place to dispose of my litter?” If not, think again and do the right thing to protect our environment.

Objectives of a cleanup campaign

  • To ensure the environment is safe, clean and healthy
  • To ensure environmental sustainability
  • To promote environmental awareness
  • To restore community pride
  • To promote local trade and tourism
  • To restore wildlife habitats
  • To engage communities in long term environmental initiatives.
  • To eradicate diseases, such as cholera, typhoid which thrive in dirty environments.

What activities can be undertaken during the cleanup campaign?

  • Removing litter from public areas such as streets, parks, waterways etc.
  • Clearing illegal waste dumps which are usually heaped at street corners and in sanitary lanes.
  • Education and awareness programmes on waste management.
  • Collection of recyclable material that can be sold to local recyclers.
  • Planting of trees.

Can the community benefit and how?

A clean up campaign may benefit the community economically and socially if wisely used. Communities may undertake waste projects; form environment forums or clubs, which may be developed by them. For example recycled waste may be delivered to companies in exchange for money. For sustainability the projects should run throughout the year.

EMA is currently working with 81 Community Based Organisations (CBOs) countrywide. These CBOs are into waste collection and recycling. For more information you can visit any EMA Offices near you.

Steps in organising a clean up campaign

  •       Police clearance

This process is crucial for notifying the responsible authorities. The organizing institution should notify the nearest Police station, through writing by stating the purpose of the clean up, venue, expected number of people, starting time and end time.


  •        Registering an event

To register an event, visit any nearest EMA offices or contact them using their details below.

What will I need to know in order to fill out the registration form?

For publicity purposes, you will be asked for the names of all the organizations participating in the cleanup. You will also be asked for the name and location of your clean up and the date(s) and times of your cleanup. If you are requesting free souvenir Clean up equipment,  an estimate of the number of volunteers you expect to participate will be needed.

  •        Support and supplies

Community campaigns require supplies and may cost money, so line up ample support early.

What type of supplies will I need?

Depending on location and size, you will need to have some supplies on hand.  At a minimum, you need; gloves, face masks, bin liners, brooms, rakes, pokers and water for participants.

What will EMA provide in regards to supplies?

Depending on availability EMA can provide the above mentioned supplies.


Let us get together and clean up our environment!


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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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