A GROUP of cyclists in Mutare have teamed up to embark on an environmental conservation promotion project through cycling.
Dubbed Pedal and Plant, the aim of the initiative is to lower emissions by promoting cycling and planting of trees in different communities.
The initiative started in December last year.
Emmanuel Talent Saunyama, the founder Pedal and Plant, said: “Our first implementation was in Odzi (Musangono Lodge). We cycled from Mutare to Musangano Lodge on December 19.
“We had planned to do one every month, but due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we could not. Hopefully, we will do one next month in the resort area of Vumba,” he said.
The cyclists partaking in the initiative include Godfrey Saungweme, Elliot Chikutuwa, Benjamin Dukwende, Rony Tsikuzao, Kelvin Maengamhuru Willom Zengeni, Forgive Mupandi, Takudzwa Chinyowa and Oliver Nyandoro.
“We start the ride at the same time and maintain a pace that everyone can keep up with. We make a few stops on the way to spread awareness on the importance of conserving trees.
“Each cyclist plant 10 trees. We intend to increase the number of trees as we continue to work with the surrounding communities.”
Saunyama said their aim is to reach out to all communities around Manicaland and beyond
“Reaching out to as many communities in Zimbabwe and beyond is our aim as an organisation. We want to encouraging communities to be eco-conscious and aware of what they can do to mitigate against the effects of climate change,” he said.
Saunyama said the idea was a product of his passion for environmental conservation.
“I have always been passionate about the environment from a young age. That passion made me pursue a Degree in Natural Resources Management. With Plant and Pedal, I am simply implementing want I learnt and what I am still learning by being involved in the environmental conservation field,” he said
Saunyama bemoaned the lack of corporate partnership for cycling in Zimbabwe.
“We are still growing as a sport in Zimbabwe. We have a lot of young people with potential to proudly raise the flag of Zimbabwe in international cycling events. Cycling professionally requires high-end bicycles and equipment which are expensive.
“The drawbacks are lack of sponsorship as well as very few cycling events. This limits the much needed racing exposure,” he said.