The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is encouraging members of the public in Bulawayo to cooperate with them as they carry out an exercise on checking for litter bins in public transport and on emissions in both public and private transport.
This follows reports of some motorist raising issues of being inconvenienced by the current exercise with is being done in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Environmental Education and Publicity Manager Mrs Amukela Sidange said the checks were routine and should not cause panic within the public.
“The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has noted with concern wrong information circulating on media about an exercise that was carried out in Bulawayo. The Agency would want to correct this by stating that the Agency carried out the exercise as part of its routine operations with a thrust to safeguard the health of the public and the integrity of the environment.
“The exercise was done through roadblocks set up in partnership with ZRP to check on litter bins only in public transport vehicles, checking on vehicle emissions especially on those with diesel powered engines, hazardous substances transportation and educating the public on best practices,” she said.
This, she said is in line with Section 83(2) of the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) which calls for all owners or operators of public conveyance vehicles to provide a bin to place litter in their vehicles, and any person who contravenes this is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.
“Similar exercises will be intensified across the country, with several being adhoc, as the Agency thrives towards promoting the creation of a safe, clean and healthy environment,” she added.
Mrs Sidange said a total of 34 public vehicles were inspected for vehicle bins and only three vehicles were found without bins and were issued with tickets.
“In a way this translated to over 90 percent compliance which is commendable and as the Agency we encourage public transporters to uphold such best practices in waste management. Also during the same exercise vehicle emissions were checked on both private and public vehicles as a way of ensuring vehicles’ emissions are within safe standards that do not cause air pollution as prescribed in Section 68(1) of the Environmental Management Act(CAP 20:27) as read with Statutory Instrument 72 of 2009 Section 4 and 5,” she said.
The Agency said a total of 967 vehicles were inspected and 59 tickets were issued for vehicles emitting above specified standards of emission during the exercise in Bulawayo.
Compliance checks were also done on hazardous substances transportation in line with Statutory Instrument 268 of 2018(1) where failure to comply is an offence and the offender is liable to a fine not exceeding level 14 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. During the exercise in Bulawayo, a total of 60 inspections were done on hazardous substances and 42 tickets were issued for non-compliance.
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