The nation joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Wetlands Day amid calls by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri for communities to preserve wetlands for future generations.

Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri who was speaking at Driefontein grassland in Mvuma said wet lands are key to poverty eradication and have potential to change lives of many communities for the better.

“Wetlands reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste and are a source of livelihoods. They regulate and provide water for agricultural activities which in turn provides food security for our people. Given wetlands’ importance of water supply in food production, they are key to poverty eradication worldwide and thus safeguarding our future. Livelihood from fishing, crop production, livestock production, travel, tourism and water provision all depend on wetlands,” she said.

Environment Minister went on to commend Chirumhanzu community for their sterling efforts in conserving wetlands while at the same time deriving a sustainable livelihood from them.

 In a speech read on her behalf by the Midlands Minister of State Cde Owen Ncube, who is also the deputy secretary for environment and tourism in the Politburo, First Lady Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa encouraged cities to adopt policies and actions which help to protect urban wetlands.

This year’s Wetlands Day commemorations held at Driefontein grasslands ran under the theme, ‘The Wetlands for a Sustainable Future’.