By Tichaona Kurewa
VICE President General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga says government is doubling efforts to promote urban to rural migration through setting up industries, modern facilities and services.
Vice President Chiwenga, who was speaking at the official opening of the Shelter Afrique Annual General Meeting in Victoria Falls this Monday, said government has set up a modern sawmill plant in Chimanimani and other places to promote urban to rural migration.
“We should now address the issue of putting quite a number of industries and manufacturing companies in the rural areas so that we avoid rural to urban migration and instead we have the urban to rural. Just on Friday as an example, I was with His Excellency in the Eastern Highlands where we were opening a timber manufacturing company right there in the rural areas so that people there will not move into urban areas,” he said.
The Vice President implored delegates to come up with modem methods of building houses, in the face of climate change.
“This gathering is important as you will map a path and draw lessons aimed at combating climate change and unlocking the potential to enhance the growth of the human habitat. This brings to the fore the significance of exercising due diligence on environmental and social impact assessments ahead of any construction undertakings as well as duly following proper land use planning procedures and protocols,” he added.
Shelter Afrique board chairperson, Mr Kingsley Muwowo praised Zimbabwe for honouring its obligations to the board.
“Zimbabwe is one of the only five countries that have paid up all its share capital and Zimbabwe is the only country with non-performing loan. To us that is very important,” said Mr Muwowo.
The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe highlighted the need for local authorities to amend urban by-laws to promote the use of modern building technologies.
“Introspection into our legal framework is an area of focus. Most of our cities still observe rigid by-laws which do not recognise use of other building materials other than brick and mortar for a permanent housing structure. Construction is taking a paradigm shift, with new trends and technologies being introduced. We cannot afford to ignore the upcoming solutions, thus we need to have conversations around evolving to meet the global standards while addressing challenges which we face locally,” he explained.
Vice President Chiwenga also led the ground-breaking ceremony for the Victoria Falls Walk Up Flats, which will see the construction of three storey buildings and two-bedroom blocks of flats.
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