By Lerato Ndlovu
Municipality of Chinhoyi has given a three month ultimatum to residents building structures using farm bricks to halt construction, failure of which will result in demolition.
In a statement the municipality said,“the council resolved at the ordinary council meeting held on the 16th of September at council chambers in Chinhoyi to ban use of farm bricks within the municipal areas jurisdiction with effect from the 31st of December.”
“Council encourages those using farm bricks to wind up their structures to avoid any inconveniences.
“Failure to comply with the instruction will result in the demolition of such structures built after 31 December.”
Residents have stated that the three month ultimatum is not conducive to work with due to the economic challenges.
Anesu Munodawafa said, “I think the council should have given people more time because three months is too short to complete a house in this economy.
“Dzimwe dziri paslab dzimwe window level dzimwe still on foundation, its a noble idea but they are carrying it out in the wrong way, corruption lies ahead if they continue as notified because the houses will not be complete in three months”.
Brian Ruzvidzo said “I think it’s impractical, it feels like its meant to benefit someone making different bricks or the council engineers are just being lazy. I still smell a rotten rat.
“What then happens to the truck hire guys at Christos or rank, not mentioning the brick moulders themselves, this is loss of employment for some people in the town.
The Environmental Management Agency recently said that the growth of urban areas remains within the purview of local authorities and the agency is working with local authorities to gazette local by laws which prohibit use of farm bricks in infrastructural development as their production leads to the rise of land degradation.
“Sand extraction also requires a licence from EMA, anyone found extracting sand in an undesignated site without a licence will be prosecuted. Local authorities must also develop Local Environmental Action plans (LEAPS) as provided in Section 95 of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27) and infuse sustainable sand abstraction.
“Law enforcement agents must conduct a blitz on sand poachers, and education and awareness to communities and sand miners must be done,” they said.
“We collaborate with the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other stakeholders to stop unlicensed brick-moulding operations. Brick-moulding should be done in permissible areas under a license from EMA”.