Over 300 structures in Beitbridge Town including Dulibadzimu Stadium, part of the border, a school, a hospital, a police station, and hundreds of houses are to be demolished because they were built on wetlands, The Sunday News reports.
This was revealed in a mapping report that was compiled by the Environmental Management Agency which stated that:
There are 310 structures in Beitbridge that were developed on wetlands. These are 202 residential houses, 66 residential stands, 23 cancelled stands, 15 industrial properties, six commercial properties, six schools and crèches, a hospital, a flea market, a stadium, a police base, two border warehouses, a lodge and three hostels.
This comes after the government in a bid to sanitize urban settlements and preserve wetlands stated that there will be massive demolitions of properties built on Wetlands or on land designated for other plans which were parcelled to home seekers by land barons.
Beitbridge Town clerk Loud Ramagkapola when contacted for comment agreed that indeed some structures were built on wetlands:
We have not yet received a report from the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) pertaining to the houses and other infrastructure on wetlands. However, Dulibadzimu Stadium was constructed in between streams and at law there should be at least 30 metres between a structure and a water body.
The report by EMA also noted that the Gwanda and Plumtree have the same issue of structures built on wetlands too:
A total of 28 wetlands have been mapped in the province, of which Gwanda Town has eight, Plumtree Town has 12 and Beitbridge Town eight, with a percentage coverage of 98 percent for the three urban towns. The wetlands covered are in the residential, CBD, industrial areas and proposed development areas.
More: The Sunday News