“Zimbabwe has historically been lucky in the way certain environmental areas have been protected. Now, we see the threats against the environment rising and the work of environmental defenders and lawyers becoming riskier”. According to Fiona Iliff, environmental and human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights “it’s very timely to talk about environmental protection in Zimbabwe”.
For years, Iliff has been fighting to protect the wetlands of Harare, the capital city located in the Northeast of Zimbabwe. She explains that the wetlands are critical for the water supply in the area. ‘We are living in our water source. Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition for development on all open spaces, but all those open spaces are wetlands which are critical to prevent flooding, for filtration of the water, and serve a critical carbon sink function. Now due to these development projects, the wetlands are impacted, which has led to siltation of dams lessening their storage capacity, water pollution, flooding, and increases of waterborne diseases in areas that have been flooded.’
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Illustration: Joost Hölscher “Zimbabwe has historically been lucky in the way certain environmental areas have been protected. Now, we see the threats against the environment rising and the work of environmental defenders and lawyers becoming riskier”. According to Fiona Iliff,Lees verder