Where are the Wetlands? Almost all open green spaces in Greater Harare are vleis or wetlands. These form the fragile headwaters of the Manyame / Marimba / Gwebi catchment basin, upon which the city is built. This basin is the only water source for half the population of Zimibabwe. The water supply is downstream Harare, so its important to keep the wetlands intact.
What vital functions do intact Wetlands perform? These bio-diverse wetlands are natural water reservoirs. They re-charge the water table, filter and purify the water, prevent erosion, siltation and flooding. Undisturbed wetlands act as carbon sinks, re-supply rivers and streams, and save ratepayers money, by providing a natural water purification service.
COSMO (constituted in 2005) grew out of the Monavale Residents' Environmental Action Group (formed in 2001) which was intent upon preventing development and degradation on Monavale Vlei, an important wetland of outstanding natural beauty and enormous biodiversity.
COSMO acts as the Site Support Group, amongst other roles, for the Monavale Vlei Biodiversity Project - the result of the Management Workshop held in October 2006. This Project aims to protect the fauna and flora as well as restore the Vlei to its former state, as far as is possible, thus saving a remnant of a once intact system of seasonally flooded wetlands. Educating the public at large about the value of wetlands and natural areas is one of its objectives. The Project networks with stakeholders such as Bird Life Zimbabwe, Environment Africa, City of Harare, Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Environmental Management Agency, ZRP and surrounding communities.
COSMO also works with the Monavale community in the following areas:
Prevents dumping and organizes cleanups
COSMO Kids Club - the children love to learn about the Vlei, the environment and social responsibilities at the weekly gatherings
Takes school children and college students for environmental walks on the Vlei
Conducts a natural history walk on the Vlei every third Sunday of the month at 7am. Meet on Fenella Drive. All welcome