A large majority of Zimbabweans say the government should be doing more to limit pollution and protect the environment, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
Citizens cite trash disposal as the most important environmental problem in their community, especially in cities, followed by deforestation and pollution of water sources.
Respondents say the primary responsibility for reducing pollution and keeping communities clean rests with the local and national government and with ordinary citizens.
Almost half (46%) of Zimbabweans say pollution is a “somewhat serious” or “very serious” problem in their community (Figure 1).
Trash disposal is the most important environmental issue affecting communities in Zimbabwe (cited by 30% of respondents), followed by deforestation (23%) and pollution of water sources (16%) (Figure 2).
o Urban residents are four times as likely as their rural counterparts to see trash disposal as the most important environmental problem affecting their community (58% vs. 14%). Concern about trash disposal increases with respondents’ education level, ranging from 13% of those with no formal schooling to 43% of those with post-secondary qualifications (Figure 3).
Almost half (45%) of Zimbabweans say local government (25%) or national government (20%) bear the primary responsibility for reducing pollution and keeping communities clean. But one-third (34%) assign that responsibility to ordinary citizens (Figure 4).
o The view that local or national government has the primary responsibility to reduce pollution and keep communities clean is more pronounced among residents in Harare (68%), those experiencing high lived poverty (60%), and urbanites (57%) (Figure 5).
About three-quarters (74%) of citizens want more action from the government to limit pollution and protect the environment, including 51% who say the government should be doing “a lot more” (Figure 6).
o This is the majority view in all provinces, ranging from 57% in Midlands to 95% in Harare, and is more pronounced in cities than in rural areas (88% vs. 66%) (Figure 7).
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999. Round 9 surveys (2021/2022) are currently underway.
Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.