Saturday June 9 2018

World Environment Week

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

             – Margaret Mead

Let’s Talk About Pollution

Another year, and another World Environment Week, what’s the difference?

Well, the difference is pollution. Each year more than 300 million tons of plastics are produced and discarded, and that number ain’t stopping. Many of these plastics are ‘single use’. It’s quite self-explanatory, you open, you use, you throw away – no biggie right?

Not quite, there’s a ‘big biggie’.

Each year more than 300 million tons of plastics are produced and discarded. Aren’t we more than just walking litter dispensers.


A casual walk around your town, particularly for those who live in major cities like Harare – ‘the Sunshine City’ – and you’ll come across some ‘litter’. Don’t let that word fool you, it isn’t a little. Heaps of trash can be found at high density residential areas all around cities in Zimbabwe, spanning areas larger than two rugby fields.

That’s a problem

And it all starts with us:

Everyday, someone somewhere throws something out into our environment.

Multiply that by more than a two billion people on the face of the earth and we have a lot of trash – filth covering and concealing our beautiful world and replacing it with a twisted, disgusting and unnatural perversion. 

Our Planet

And when I say it affects our environment, it affects our environment. The world is our environment, everything in it comprises of a complex system of things, animals and ecosystems which we are a part of – so, yes, if our environment is affected, we are affected. 

In 2015, it was recorded that 9 million people died from pollution (ranging from air pollution, water pollution, ground pollution and every other kind of dirty ground-up pollution you can think of).

It has been put on record that war, violence, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are no match for the death toll caused by pollution. The 9 million killed in 2015 by pollution is triple the number caused by the diseases stated above and 15 times higher than war and any other kind of human violence. 

And bringing it dangerously close to home – 83% of the tap water around the world contains some sort of plastic pollutant in it, so everyday we consume potentially toxic and dangerous particles, of which the health effects haven’t even been adequately researched – people don’t care enough. 

 That’s where the problem is: We don’t care enough

We Need to Act

We need to start caring, you can have facts blurted out into your face and still get nothing out of it except a bloated brain full of brick-hard facts. 

We need to save our environment, get our hands dirty.

Save the earth, to be willing to actually think before we throw away that sweet wrapper.

Save ourselves, from this utter self-destruction that stems from this horrible mix of ignorance and selfishness. 

We need to beat this, we need to beat pollution.


Reflections by pupil writer  Kundai-Karl Mpame, on the back of World Environment Week which was marked last week.