The Network for Environmental and Climate Justice in collaboration with the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Chapter held an Accountability for Water and Environment Symposium on 15 November 2023 in Harare.
The symposium sought to enhance civic participation in water and environmental governance as well as to enhance citizen agency engagement with their local authority (City of Harare) on environmental and land governance.
As part of its objectives, the meeting sought to enhance citizens’ knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act and unpack stages and processes involved in accessing information from key government departments/duty bearers for advocacy purposes.
The symposium also sought to unpack how residents can use the Constitution as a key tool for water and environmental justice.
Below are the recommendations and way forward from the meeting;
- Access to information is critical in enhancing citizen agency on water and environmental justice hence the need to capitalize on the provision of the Freedom to Information Act which allows citizens to demand information from key government departments and other duty bearers. In this regard, continuous mobilization and engagement with Community-Based Organisations remain key.
- Engaging and mobilizing grassroots communities to ensure a broad-based movement is critical for water and environmental justice
- Increasing citizen agency and continuous dissemination of knowledge on the constitution is key in ensuring water and environmental justice. The Constitution is a key tool for enhancing transparency, and accountability and pushing for water and environmental justice
- Public interest litigation is a key component in pushing for water and environmental justice. This ties in with the need to disseminate information on the constitution to communities.