chapter  14
13 Pages

Zimbabwe’s environmental crisis

Questioning ubuntu?
ByFainos Mangena

In this chapter, I argue that the environmental crisis which Zimbabwe is facing today is a result of the failure by the government of Zimbabwe and its people to harness hunhu/ubuntu ethics to live in harmony with nature. Notwithstanding some of the criticisms levelled against hunhu/ubuntu as an ethic, I argue that this ethic remains relevant in the discourse of environmental philosophy. Using the method of content analysis, I define and characterise the magnitude of Zimbabwe’s environmental crisis from the year 2000 to the present, before identifying the causes of this crisis as: the Western imposition of sanctions to Zimbabwe, a haphazard and chaotic land reform programme as well as the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy. I delineate the effects of this environmental crisis as the drying up of dams, incessant droughts, unsafe water sources due to water pollution, the reduction of bio-diversity as well as atmospheric pollution. In my conclusion, I note that all these problems have had an effect on agricultural productivity, the preservation of wildlife as well as the management of the tourism industry in a country which is famed for its world wonders, namely: the Victoria Falls, Nyanga Mountains and the Great Zimbabwe Monuments.