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Govt plans to fully implement smart cities concept

by Staff Reporter
18 Nov 2021 at 19:13hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT plans to fully implement the smart cities concept in line with the recently launched climate policy with Figtree in Matabeleland South set to be transformed into such a city, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.

The Head of State said the Government had since sent a team led by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo to the United Arab Emirates to study how best the concept can be fully implemented in the country.

He said the idea was to build climate-resilient structures and settlements free of carbon emissions within Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa was speaking during the commissioning of 28 staff houses build for civil servants under the Beitbridge Redevelopment Program, which seeks to transform the border town into a medium city.

The houses bring to 52 the houses which have been built for Government workers in Beitbridge.

About five of the new houses had their roofs partially damaged by a storm yesterday which also destroyed rooftops of several private properties.

16 garden flats are also under construction to accommodate 64 families, while another border staff village of 264 is being built as a part of the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Modernisation project.

"As part of our efforts towards dealing with climate change, my Government has developed a policy on the establishment of smart cities where people can live, work and play in a carbon-free environment," said President Mnangagwa.

"Currently, our Minister of Local Government, (July Moyo) is already in the United Arab Emirates which is known for smart cities.

So, we have sent our people to go and study how to construct smart cities in Zimbabwe and that will assist".

The President said under phase one of the policy, Government was targeting the development of smart cities in Melfort in Mashonaland East, Chirundu in Mashonaland West, and Figtree.

He said it was very critical for governments to mitigate and adapt to the ongoing effects of climate change.

President Mnangagwa said the current wave of climate change was a result of the industrial revolution spearheaded by the First World.

"So, at the recent climate indaba in Scotland, our position as Africa was that for us to stop using some methods causing emissions, the developed world must give US$100 billion to invest in alternative sources of energy including solar.

I, therefore, urge local authorities, the private sector, and other stakeholders to also play their part in complementing Government efforts towards the provision of affordable housing for all," he said.

President Mnangagwa also lambasted local authorities countrywide for sleeping on duty in terms of providing adequate housing.

He said it was critically important that local authorities, urban or rural should be seen addressing the question of housing with Government coming in to complement what they are doing.

"The Government on the other hand is constructing more institutional houses countrywide to ease the accommodation challenges among its dedicated public servants.

I have also instructed the responsible ministry to expedite the completion of the remaining standalone houses and resumption of works on the apartment units," said the President.

He said Government was mobilising more financial resources to ensure that it completes all stalled national housing projects across the country.

"The resultant increase in construction activity will also stimulate economic growth given the upstream and the downstream linkages of the infrastructure development sector.

We will build our country alone and none will do it for us, our country we will rule alone, none will help us on that aspect," said President Mnangagwa.

He said the Government was also adopting the application of new building technologies to cut costs and shorten the construction time of more housing units.

"As we move towards the attainment of Vision 2030, the Government has adopted the concept of urban regeneration and renewal throughout the country.

The Ministries of National Housing and that of Public Works are seized with this matter.

In fact, the Second Republic will leave no stone unturned towards restoring order, the dignity of persons on access to housing services in all community," added President Mnangagwa.

He said proper planning and provision of requisite ancillary services was critical in housing development.

The commissioning of the houses also coincided with the belated commemoration of the UN World Habitat Day.

The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly for commemorating on the first Monday of October every year and this year it was held under the theme "Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world".

This is in recognition that cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions.

Source - Chronicle