HomeStandard StyleWetlands survival forum moves forward

Wetlands survival forum moves forward

At a well-attended meeting of the Wetlands Survival Forum, two additional Trustees were appointed, bringing office bearers to eight.

Out Door with Rosie Mitchell

Hydrology expert Professor Chris Magadza is patron, chairman is Allain Chimanikire, and trustees, Alex Masterson, Sweden Chishaka, Kathy Manase, Desmond Matete, Precious Shumba and Herbert Mashanyare.

The Wetlands Survival Forum was created in January 2013, facilitated by the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (HIFC), which fully recognised what many still do not: The wetlands crisis is a humanitarian crisis, because our water supply stands in jeopardy as a result of wetland destruction.

Harare depends on the continued pristine existence of its many city and suburban wetlands (vleis), the seasonally waterlogged green spaces dotted about, for its water supply. We are at the top of the catchment area.

Without these wetlands to capture, store and clean rain water that then moves into rivers and thence to Chivero, our water will soon run dry. It is already happening, as evidenced by the drying up of increasing numbers of boreholes, the need to dig new boreholes deeper and deeper and the serious flooding of our roads in heavy rain, a direct result of wetland destruction which areas otherwise soak up water and prevent flooding.

In turn, flooded city and suburban roads develop the potholes that are the bane of every driver’s life! Downstream from us, hundreds of thousands of people also depend on these vital catchment sponges. The message continues to fall on deaf ears and building developments in wetlands continue in blatant view.

While schoolchildren fully grasp the seriousness of the situation into which we are fast heading, their elders apparently don’t, nor do property developers driven by financial incentives yet ignoring humanitarian concerns and the future of our city which depends on a supply of clean water.

The appointment of trustees and further formalisation of the Forum adds weight to this pressure group, fast becoming a force to be reckoned with — join it!

On the run — Training for big events

Runners and triathletes alike are hard at it, training for important events in April, some in the country, some outside it. Contenders in the Two Oceans Ultra and Half Marathons, plus the famous Comrades Marathon, founded in 1921, recently ran the HAC Peter Gradwell Marathon (42,2km) named in memory of the founder of Harare Athletics Club.

A Half Marathon, 10km and 5km race were also offered and despite early rain, runners turned out in force, including Chisipite Senior School girls with coach and teacher Gill Makura. This is the fifth year that Gill has taken a group of sixth formers to Cape Town to run the Two Oceans Half Marathon.

This event and the up-coming Old Mutual Roger Brackley Marathon on March 9 (21, 10 and 5 km races also offered) are especially important for Two Oceans and Comrades Ultra entrants, as they need a verifiable qualifying time. Thus, many of the 58 full marathon runners on February 9 treated the Peter Gradwell Marathon as both an opportunity to achieve a qualifying sub five hour marathon, and a real test of how our training was going.

The Comrades is an 89 km Ultra, the Two Oceans, 56 km. The critical part of a marathon is always the last 10 km, when it really gets tough! Pacing oneself to conserve energy for the last few kays, and ingesting some sustenance along the way — the last thing one feels like doing — are critical to success.

It is absolutely true that towards the end is very tough and a fair bit of pain is involved! However, I was able to sprint at the end, and crossing the finish line makes it all worthwhile, feeling very proud of rising to this big challenge. I’ve qualified for my Two Oceans now, so running a faster time in the Old Mutual Roger Brackley Marathon would be icing on the cake!

Mukuvisi Woodlands Walk/Run Today
Today is the Mukuviusi Woodlands Walk/Run. Take the family, start any time from 6:30am to 10:30am, following marked trails through the Woodlands, which look lush and beautiful.

This twice monthly event is very popular and the small fees help sustain the Woodlands. Get some fresh air and exercise and support this wonderful green belt today.

Feedback: rosie@wildimaginings.net; the author’s company offers writing, graphic design, photography and related services.

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