Mobile network operators have been issued with a six month ultimatum to phase out recharge cards and promote technologies that can be used instead of recharge cards with litter being cited as the biggest challenge.
Other measures that are being employed to reduce the filth that has overtaken our streets are:
- Food shops to do away with kaylite packaging
- ‘Deposit’ on all beverage containers to give people an incentive to return bottles instead of dumping them
- Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of disposal diapers have to submit an “environmental friendly action plan” within 6 months
- Not only are fines available as a deterrent, but Government is looking at introducing mandatory community service for offenders.
However, it is the aspect of recharge vouchers being banned that has caught our attention, especially since not long ago Government also came down heavy on street vendors that were trading in the city centre. At a time when ZimAsset is being spearheaded, the huge amount of job losses and curbing of sources of income is worrying.
The mobile networks have come up with solutions that are technologically driven, but the main challenge has been the convenience that recharge vouchers bring, one can buy one at almost any street corner, drive away and recharge later.
This law has been some time in the pipeline, as just over a year ago, then Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Saviour Kasukuwere said that the ban was imminent, but did not give timelines. Well, the time is coming, if the new environmental Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, has her way. Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has stated that waste management is its top priority.