When  Sustainable Development becomes a farce.

Goal  12.8 of the Sustainable  Development Goals  states  that ” by 2030 ensure  that people  everywhere  have the relevant  information  and awareness  for sustainable  development and lifestyle  in harmony  with nature ” . It is therefore  from this background  that i doubt  the attainment of this goal  taking  a closer look at the current situation  taking  place  at local  level  where there is massive land degradation  ,deforestation  vis-a-vis the target  goal  ,it’s  really  absurd  and if the situation  remains  as such, meeting  the goal  remains  “a pie in the sky”.

Sustainable Development  means  utilizing  the resources  in the present  without  compromising the opportunity  of the future  generation  to enjoy  the same benefits. Zimbabwe  being  one of the member states  of  the United  Nations that adopted  and endorsed  the SDGs  and pledged  to work  towards  their  attainment  should  really  brace up and ACT now  in ensuring  that sustainable  development goals   won’t  be just ” a much ado about  nothing  ” initiative.   

To begin  with, the populace  at large need  to be educated about sustainable  development  ,their  engagement  in national  development  framework  should  not be tokenistic but rather  meaningful  as they are the ones  contributing to the deterioration of the natural  environment.  A notable  example  is that of ward 25 in Mashonaland West  Zvimba  East province  where  massive  land degradation  is taking  place  ,the area has become  an illegal  place for  dealers  who are digging  up top soil /gravel  on the vast land leaving  it  badly damaged  with enormous  gullies  that have become nothing  but death traps  for children  during  the rainy  season . Most of these  people  plundering  the environment  are youths  who cannot  find employment  elsewhere, as an aftermath  digging  up the  top soil  and selling  it to those in construction  business  has become  the only  panacea  for their  survival. The degradation  of the environment  happening  in this community  is an epitome  of  the real situation  taking  place  in various  communities  which  i cannot  mention  here as time may fail me. Looking  back at goal 12.8  ,it is  emphasising  on making  sure that  everywhere  people  have  relevant  information  and awareness  for sustainable  development  so that they be able to deal  with the nature  in a more harmonous  manner. 

It therefore  remains  unquestionable that  these people  plundering  the environment  have no  relevant  information  or awareness  about  the effects  they will  cause in the near or later future, their  primary  concern is survival . The SDGs  also have not really  been  able  to cascade from the top to the least person  living  in the community, they don’t  know  the relevance  or the target  goals  ,thus the government is speeding  towards  a dead  road  because  things  are really  ” falling  apart” in  various  communities ,yet it still  continue  heralding  about  sustainable  development. 

Furthermore,  goal  11.4 states  that ” strengthen  efforts  to protect  and safeguard  the world’s  cultural  and natural  heritage  ” ,strengthening  efforts  again  becomes  difficult  if the real  perpetrators are being  left behind  . It is myopic  to hold hotel  conventions discussion  about what is to be done for the people  ,yet the same people  are miles  away  in their  villages  or communities  unaware  of what is being  discussed. I stand to be corrected  ,but i believe  whatever  is for the people  ,without  the people  ,is against  them. 

Borrowing  from the Nigerian  proverb” he who does  not know  where he went  wrong  ,will never  know when  the rain began  to beat him and worse  off he cannot  know  when  to start  drying  himself ”   . What is wrong  in the discourse  of SDGs  and also barricading  towards  attainment  of target  goals  is simply  lack of  relevant  information. 


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