Harare wetlands are under threat as land developers continue to construct houses and other buildings on them.

The city of Harare is located within the headwaters of the Upper Manyame Catchment Basin and wetlands are the primary water source for the city.

The vlei feed streams and rivers flow down to the city’s supply dams 32km downstream to the south west, with that water being pumped back up to the city for household use.

Harare Mayor, Mr Bernard Manyenyeni said they are worried that land developers continue invading wetlands, while the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said they will take action to ensure wetlands are protected.

Monavale vlei is one of outstanding examples of the once extensive headwater wetland or vlei ecosystem and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Education and Publicity Officer, Steady Kangata explained that these ecosystems are under threat due to the unlawful infrastructural developments.

Stakeholders say increased awareness campaigns on the importance of wetlands’ rich biodiversity is required as well as coordinated protection of urban wetlands.