SALIENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN SOVELELE RESETTLEMENT AREA IN MWENEZI DISTRICT, ZIMBABWE

The Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) was a government initiated reform effort to benefit a majority of land hunger-black Zimbabweans through the compulsory acquisition of vast tracks of land previously owned by white minority. Courtesy of the FTLRP, a majority of Zimbabweans benefited pierces of land with a view to improve their livelihoods. The process was chaotic and done with limited mainstreaming of the environmental principles. The qualitative study was informed by a descriptive survey and data were collected through observations and interviews with conveniently sampled land settlers and local leadership in Sovelele resettlement area. Results of the study suggests that although the FTLRP improved land ownership and livelihoods of the poor families, it also created massive environmental degradation, pollution, soil erosion, deforestation and ecological damages. The challenges are exacerbated by limited awareness and education to new settlers on the sustainable environmental and agricultural practices, and limited implementation of environmental management law and regulations in the aftermath of the FTLRP. Based on the foregoing, the study recommends concerted and integrated approach in Land Reform policy formulation and implementation for sustainable development.

 

Key Words: Resettlement, Land Reform, Land Settlers, Environment, Sustainability, Environmental Management Policy

DOI: https://ejesm.org/doi/v12i4.8

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