TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister, Judith Ncube, says the rapid urbanisation in developing countries has adversely impacted the environment and service delivery.
According to the United Nations, the movement of people into urban areas has been driven by better employment and education prospects as well as cultural and entertainment opportunities
“With rapid urbanisation taking place in developing countries we are seeing degradation of the environment, including quality of water, air and noise.
“As a result of urbanisation we have also seen a change in the climate. The negative effects of climate change and urbanisation pose significant challenges in developing countries,” Ncube said.
She said there were limited resources to mitigate challenges in developing countries.
“The effects have also had a significant impact on service delivery resulting in infrastructure backlogs and high unemployment.”
By 2050 it is predicted that 67% of the world population is expected to be living in urban areas with the most rapid levels of urbanisation taking place in developing countries.
Meanwhile on Monday last week, Bulawayo City Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the green cities initiative as part of moves to ensure a healthy environment and diets from sustainable agri-food systems.
Patrice Takoukam, subregional coordinator for Southern Africa, FAO representative for eSwatini, Lesotho and Zimbabwe said he respects the uniqueness of Bulawayo.
“As the city expands, FAO looks to support the city in finding ways to make their unique urban environment a cleaner, greener, healthier place to live,” Takoukam said.
He said FAO is also committed to work with the City to face the threefold challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and urban inequality; making the City resilient, sustainable and inclusive.
Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni said they will work in harmony to address different challenges in the city.
In September 2020, FAO launched its Green Cities Initiative aimed at improving the livelihoods and well-being of urban and peri-urban populations.