Can Sand Abstraction be Sustainable?


Globally, it is estimated that every year, 24 billion tonnes of fertile soils are lost through erosion alone (UNCCD, 2001). In Zimbabwe, soil erosion remains one the biggest environmental challenges. Whitlow (1988) contends that 1 848 000 hectares of land in all agro-ecological regions in Zimbabwe are eroded and an average of 76 tonnes of soil is lost per hectare through soil erosion.

The post-2015 global development agenda foresees that land-degradation neutrality is possible if everyone takes responsibility.

Sand Mining and Transportation

Sand and clay mining is one of the major drivers to land degradation in Zimbabwe’s urban, semi urban and rural service centres centre as well as growth points, mainly due to construction activities. Most of the miners of sand and clay do so from undesignated points and do not rehabilitate the land afterwards. The abandoned sites are characterised by severe land degradation, with huge open pits which are a death trap to human beings and animals.  Limited livelihood options to the urban dwellers have worsened the country’s disposition to illegal sand mining.

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Plastic waste remains a challenging waste management issue because of its non-biodegradable nature. Plastics, if not properly managed, end up as litter polluting water ways, wetlands, storm water systems and end up clogging storm drains resulting in flash floods like the ones experienced in Harare recently. Some countries like Rwanda have imposed a total ban on plastics; whilst others charge a small fee as a way of encouraging people to bring their own shopping bags or baskets in order to of protect the environment. Zimbabwe has put in place regulations on the standards of the permissible thickness of plastic carrier packaging.

Thin plastics are not durable; they can easily break.

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Call for Proposals

The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) in collaboration with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) invites research proposals focusing on sustainable environmental management through safe disposal of waste. Read More ...

Anti Corruption - Fraud Message

The Zimbabwe Code on Corporate Governance promotes good governance and high standards of integrity.  In line with this code, the Environmental Management Agency is committed to promoting sound corruption, bribery and fraud prevention mechanisms. Every employee of the Environmental Management Agency who knows or suspects any illegal, dubious or fraudulent activities occurring within the Agency should report them via WhatsApp, toll free or the website. Similarly, all stakeholders who are aware or suspects any illegal and dubious business activities involving Agency employees, suppliers and third parties are requested to report the issues on the mentioned platforms.  The Agency has a zero tolerance to corruption policy.

To report corruption anonymously please use the following channels:

Econet Toll free: 08080028

Tweeter: @EMAeep

WhatsApp: 0779 565 707

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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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Vision, Mission & Values

  • VISION +

    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.

    • Transparency • Professionalism • Timeous response • Stakeholder Participation • Unhu / Ubuntu •Team work •
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