A High Court judge has ordered Harare City Council to stop developments on a wetland in Greendale suburb after it failed to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment of the area.
Justice Erica Ndewere ruled in favour of the Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association.
The Environmental Management Agency (Ema) and minister of Local Government were the respondents. In her ruling, Justice Ndewere said:
The first respondent’s (HCC) residential housing development on the Latimer/Greengrove Wetland area and the Nature Reserve and open and passive space also known as Stand 298 Athlone Township is hereby declared unlawful. The first respondent shall pay costs on an ordinary scale.
Harare Wetlands coordinator Dorothy Wakeling reiterated the value of wetlands to the ecosystem. She said:
Councillors and legislators should be educated on the power that wetlands have. They store water for the major rivers and lakes so that in those dry seasons they can release it.
They act like sponges. However, if we continue destroying them, Harare’s water problems will only get worse.