Target: Sheunesu Mpepereki, Chairperson of the Board of Zimbabwe’s Environmental Management Agency
Goal: Protect vital wetlands from an unnecessary mall development project.
Wildlife habitat and the quantity and quality of freshwater are in jeopardy from a decision to build a shopping mall on a crucial wetland. The local government has already destroyed other wetland areas for development and this will be no different if we don’t speak up now.
Located in Zimbabwe, South Africa, the city of Harare has increased 100 percent in population in the last 10 years. This increase has caused a demand for urban development. However, the area is home to a lush wetland that provides the citizens of Harare with fresh drinking water. Development on wetlands will eventually cause water shortages and the expensive need for more water purification methods. The water of Harare only required a few chemicals for purification but now, due to the destruction of wetlands, the city’s water contains a high amount of metals.
The newest proposed development venture in Harare is already known as one of southern Africa’s largest malls. The wetland in this area is home to 250 migrating and resident bird species that travel to the area from all parts of the world. The mall will not only destroy this ecosystem but also impact the local water supply. Wetlands are crucial to an area’s watershed because they not only store water but also clean and purify water through slow filtration into rivers and lakes. When buildings are constructed on wetlands, the water in the wetland is drained and the area no longer acts a recharge zone or giant sponge during rains.
By signing this petition, you are demanding that the Chairperson of Zimbabwe’s Environmental Management Agency protect this crucial wetland area instead of building an invasive, expensive, and unnecessary mall complex.
Dear Chairperson Mpepereki,
Wetland habitat in Harare should be protected instead of destroyed. I know the increase in population in Harare has caused an influx of urban development. However, wetlands are so important to protect for the sake of the area’s water supply. The wetland stores precious freshwater and acts as a natural infiltration system.
If the mall operation is approved, special wetland habitat will be destroyed. Wetlands in this area are home to nearly 250 different bird species that travel to the area from all over the world.
I am urging you to please stop the development of this massive mall in Harare. The more wetlands you destroy in Harare, the more of a risk this area will eventually face with water shortages and will have to resort to expensive purification processes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Gratwicke