The Methodist Village of Hyde Park in peri-urban Bulawayo ward 17 have demanded that an indigenous quarry mine adhere to environmental management standards by implementing the pollution mitigation strategies detailed in their Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
Realizing high levels of air and noise pollution by Vukuzenzele Stone Crushers, the Methodist Village Committee approached Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) for assistance. MIHR facilitated a training for the community on EIAs and civic engagement. After the training, the community wrote a complaint to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).
On Wednesday 01 September 2021, EMA officials visited the area and confirmed that the company has a valid EIA certificate. On the request of the community, they convened a dialogue platform on Thursday 02 September 2021. During the dialogue meeting, the company conceded to not following its EIA recommendations and pledged to correct their mistakes.
In the meeting it was agreed that:
- The community should have access to the company’s EIA report since its their right and the report is a public document;
- The company will start implementing recommendations of their EIA report regarding air and noise pollution and operation hours and will open lines of communication with the community;
- MIHR will assist the community and the company to develop a Community Environmental Charter.
This action by the Methodist Village Committee is an example of active citizen led civic engagement and social accountability in demanding the protection and promotion of human rights which is being facilitated by MIHR at grassroots levels.