The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Hon Saviour Kasukuwere on Monday, June 30, 2014, launched the National Desilting Programme (NDP) meant to remove silt from the country’s major rivers and dams.
The programme was launched at a colourful ceremony held at Mazowe Dam, one of the country’s major dams.
Minister Kasukuwere said siltation was now a scourge threatening the country’s water bodies.
He said siltation had significantly reduced water flows in the country’s major rivers.
“Save River, which is the country’s major river has now been reduced to a mere tributary of Limpopo River due to siltation. Mazowe River, where we are gathered today is also now a sad story to talk about,” he said
He said it was disheartening to note that most of the siltation was a result of human activities such as poor agricultural practices and alluvial mining.
He said the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate had already engaged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in a bid to control alluvial mining activities.
“My Ministry has engaged the Ministry of Mines in trying to control alluvial mining and we have just reached a consensus to the extent of coming with a statutory instrument that says “”, said Minister Kasukuwere.
The Minister said siltation was also a threat to the country’s food security as some irrigation schemes had been forced to close shop due to the siltation of their water abstraction points.
The launch of the NDP followed the acquisition of four dragline machines that will be used to remove silt from the rivers.