HARARE – It was all trash talk at World Cleanup Day on Friday, September 17, 2021, as a
total of five teams battled it out to collect the most rubbish littering the shoreline of Lake
The Netherlands Embassy staff, Dutch nationals living in Harare, Zimbabwe National Parks
and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) staff from Lake Chivero and students from Lake
Mcllwaine Primary School joined forces to put Zimbabwe on the global clean-up map
alongside 22 other clean-up campaigns initiated by the Netherlands in different countries.
The volunteers hauled in a massive 770kg of waste from Chivero, mostly discarded fishing
nets which pose a serious threat to water birds, fish, and other aquatic life.
Speaking at the event, Dutch Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi Dr. Margret
Verwijk thanked all the volunteers for joining in, highlighting that it will take strong
partnerships and collective effort to protect waterways.
“I am proud of The Netherlands, the Dutch nationals here today, and the partners who joined
in to lead the worldwide clean-up which is focused this year on waterways. Climate change,
pollution, deforestation, and wetland development pose a major threat to our waterways
which are lifelines to our cities.
“The 8 billion tonnes of plastic that enters streams, rivers, lakes and oceans around the world
each year breaks into microplastics that enter our food system, drinking water and even the
air we breathe. Restoring and protecting our natural water supply will take strong
partnerships between government, businesses and the public. I look forward to the
continuation of the great partnership that we have initiated today,” said Dr Verwijk.
Ambassador Verwijk also thanked National Parks for supporting the event and providing
rangers to lead the pickup teams to different parts of the park.