EMA fines council for environmental abuse

The Environment Management Agency (EMA) has fined the Harare City Council $15 000 for failing to rectify environmental problems in their area of jurisdiction.

EMA board led by Prof Sheunesu Mpepereki passing judgement to Harare City Council.
EMA board led by Prof Sheunesu Mpepereki passing judgement to Harare City Council.

The council was facing three charges involving uncontrolled commercial and residential stands developments,cultivation and sand abstraction on wetlands which are fragile sensitive ecosystems,disposal of raw sewage into the environment without a licence and disposal of solid waste at undesignated sites without a licence.

As per EMA judgement on wetlands, Council has been ordered to stop allocations of stands in wetlands with immediate effect,where the city has approved implementation of developed projects in which development has not yet taken place, to stop such development with immediate effect.

Where the city has given planning permits for development and development has not commenced to reserve the permit with immediate effect, where development has taken place, the development to stop until mitigatory measures have been approved by EMA.

To review all local plans to ensure compliance with the Environmental Management Act and to prepare a schedule of all the above issues and submit a report to EMA by 10 February 2012.

On water and effluent, council has been asked to submit a plan to rehabilitate all malfunctioning sewerage plants in order to stop the discharge of raw sewerage within a month and to repair the plants within a month.

To attend to all sewerage bursts in all residential areas within 24 hours,ensure the regular removal of sludge from all sewerage plants and ponds.Council has also been aked to submit a monthly progress report to the Agency and the first report to be produced by 31 January 2012.

To resuscitate the use of final effluent to irrigate pasture and to apply for discharge licences of all illegal discharge points before 31 January 2012.

On solid waste management, council has been ordered to remove all illegal dumpsites and submit reports to EMA by 25 February 2012.To ensure weekly collection of refuse from the residential areas and business centres with immediate effect and to submit status reports to EMA by 31 January 2012.

To publish in the press and City Council Public notice board a waste management plan which clearly outlines areas and times for refuse collection of the accumulated waste by 31 January 2012 and to submit evidence to EMA.

EMA has also ordered council to see to it that Pomona dumpsite be secured and protected from entry by unauthorised people by 31 March 2012.EMA also says the dumping at Pomona should be conducted with best practices for dump management.The authorities have also been ordered to immediately stop the use of the decommissioned Golden quarry.

Council has also been ordered to submit a payment plan for the outstanding $34 978 for licences and tickets by 31 January 2012 which has to be acceptable to the board.To produce a Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) as per the Environmental Management Act by May 2012.To produce a work plan for the production of the LEAP by 31 January 2012.

EMA says all the water/effluent and solid waste management plans produced in compliance with the summary judgement will be monitored by the agency on a weekly basis.

Post published in: Environment
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