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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [Thematic Report] Eco-friendly mobility situation in Zimbabwe

by Makomborero Muzunde | 18-11-2020 21:07 Comments 3 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Hope you are all well in these trying times in the history of humanity.  It had been long since I posted a report on this platform.  All what is happening, heavy floods, tsunamis and slow freezing of icebergs in the Antarctica nature is sending us message that we should answer.  Eco-friendly mobility can be one of the answers nature wants us to send. Sadly, in the less economically developed countries (LEDC) such as my country Zimbabwe we are behind in terms of eco-friendly mobility. In this report I want to paint a picture of eco-friendly mobility in Zimbabwe looks like.


Fall of Rhodesia and colonial era gave birth to this modern Zimbabwe in 1980 where freedom was now in the air. National Railways of Zimbabwe(NRZ) introduced an electric train from Harare to Gweru (Dabuka) in a 304 km railway line with the inaugural train on the 22th of October 1983. This was a turning point as it was the first eco-friendly mobility massive project by the government. Fast forward to this day 37 years there are no overhead electric cables in the railway lines and the electric trains are forever parked at Dabuka in Gweru. In a road trip to Bulawayo passing Dabuka along the highway you can see the yellow flagged train in the grasslands and that is it, the electric train. Due to electricity problems faced by the country the electric cables were vandalised and we are our co-authors to destruction. The rail system was the major transportation means as it transports agricultural, mining produce and other goods from, to and within Zimbabwe but they have been replaced by these diesels powered trucks. Ohhh Shame! 


Normally the majority in Zimbabwe walk on foot or use a bicycle to go to work or school. In the rural areas people walk or cycle distances up to 10 kilometres to access services such as hospitals, banking, etc.  Due to health awareness people now walk or cycle to workplaces and shopping for fun and thus sustainable means of transport. Some walk or cycle because they cannot afford transport costs due to economic hardships. To prove that walking was not an eco-friendly mobility practice but it was low income, when the GDP increased between 2009 to 2013 almost everyone bought a car as he/she could afford to import an ex-Japanese car and this is a serious problem. Nothing can be put in a bin if it is new, just food for thought. In a LEDC a car is a sign of wealth and then who does not want to be wealthy if you have the opportunity?


Happily, some people are now realising the need for sustainable means of transport as Econet introduced VAYA taxi services. The VAYA taxis are electrical vehicles (EV) which are affordable and enjoyable from a less noise drive. The VAYA drive has given some firms a point to try out the EVs in Zimbabwe and with that competition electric vehicles will be running in the streets of Zimbabwe soon.  Dr. S. Gata, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) chairman in a meeting on 22 October 2020 opted for EVs to be used by the holdings company employees in a bid to reduce fuel pilferage and vehicle abuse by employees. “No one will say his car has no fuel, the cars are rechargeable, they will recharge overnight whilst in parking. They will also reduce the level at which the company’s cars are being abused by the workers who are currently taking them home”, said Mr Gata. This can clearly show that it is an initiative not for the sustainability and achieving SDGs but an internal control. 


Innovative minds who are passionate about saving the world can make eco-friendly mobility in Zimbabwe a reality. Robert Swan, “The greatest threat to our environment is the belief that someone else will save it.” Lack of knowledge, resistance to change, corruption and lack of funds can deter the vision of a greener world in the LEDCs.  


Covid-19 is real. Stay home and also wear a mask in public to protect yourself and also importantly the life of someone without the mask.

 


References

  1. Dailynews(Online source) https://thezimbabwedaily.com/news/515773-zesa-holdings-to-introduce-electric-cars.html
  2. Techzim(Online source) https://www.techzim.co.zw/2020/05/vaya-announces-launch-of-electric-cars-again/
  3. Sunday mail (Online source) https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/electric-cars-for-zimbabwe







 


A man on a bicycle Train at dabuka Electric train in Zimbabwe VAYA electric car

3 Comments

SJ Mentor

  • SJ Mentor says :
    Hello Makomborero!
    It's your SJ mentor.

    Warm greetings from Korea!
    Thank you for introducing Eco-friendly mobility situation in Zimbabwe.
    Taking all the circumstances into consideration I understand there are less chance to adopt eco-friendly mobility such as EVs.
    It is affirmative that the innovative minds are rising in Zimbabwe.
    I have a lot of sympathy with the point that 'Robert Swan' said.
    We should be aware that each personal must be engaged in.
    I hope everything will come out all right.
    Green cheers!

    Best regards,
    SJ mentor.
    Posted 30-11-2020 08:49

Kaushal  Niraula

Mun WooJooMentor

  • Mun WooJooMentor says :
    Hello Makomborero,
    this is your mentor WooJoo.

    I hope you are doing well.
    Thank you for sharing your report about eco-friendly mobility in Zimbabwe.
    I understand that less developed countries have less chance to use fuel-engine cars, and even much less to use electric/hydrogen vehicle.
    I hope that the road construction and transportation infrastructure is well constructed so that people can have easier access to the facilities.
    I am glad to hear that the 'Vaya' taxi services are being introduced.

    Thank you once again.

    Regards,
    WooJoo
    Posted 22-11-2020 23:00

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