Our Sanitation Is Our Life and Our Future

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SPOTLIGHT – OUR EDITORIAL

We belittle ourselves and wonder why others mock us. We give them ammunition and wonder why they fire shots at us. We are the architects of our own downfall and until we change our attitudes, we can never move forward.

Living in a developing country is hard it is even harder when these things happen. Things we can control but are not able to because we do not know what is right.

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Every year when it rains, parts of our cities get flooded. Five minutes worth of heavy rains and the water level rises to our knees. Who is to blame for this problem? Not our colonial masters and definitely not our enemies in foreign lands. We are to blame for this problem. No one but us.

We keep our homes clean yet we litter our towns and cities. We brag about how neat and tidy we are yet our cities are filled with so much trash and filth. Look how dirty our towns and cities are yet we blame these floods and diseases on our innocent parents living in the village.

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We claim we are wise yet we drop litter indiscriminately. We claim to love our country but we do not show this love through our actions. We don’t obey the rules that have been set to govern us in our country but we are quick to obey even stricter laws in foreign lands. Aren’t we hypocrites here in the land of Africa?

We attack people who draw our attention to our wrongs. We berate them. We insult them. We question their credibility and we shame them. What was their crime? They told us we were doing the wrong thing by throwing litter around.

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The educated ones are even the worst. They claim they are knowledgeable but always ignore the consequences of their actions. They drop rubbish in gutters. They roll down their windows and throw out garbage instead of keeping them in the car and dropping them in the trash later on. Woe unto any soul who confronts them. The might of the entire state may just come down on you.

What does this say about us as a people? We are a set of selfish, self-centered and arrogant people who do not think about anyone other than ourselves. This is wrong and we need to change this narrative.

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Can we all just be a little more concerned about our environment? Can we all just think about doing the right thing? How can we focus on doing the right thing when our rubbish collectors do not do their job well?

Can we really blame them? Why not blame those in power who do not provide these people with the things they need. Why not blame our leaders for not motivating these people enough? Why not blame our leaders for not enforcing the laws?

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If we decide to blame anyone, we would all be equally guilty. Now is not the time to point fingers at people. Now is the time to act.

Leaders start enforcing the laws on sanitation. This way people will be more inclined to do the right thing. Learn to also motivate our rubbish collectors by paying them what they deserve and on time. Show them the respect they deserve and they will do their jobs with passion.

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To the rest of us, we need to start doing the right thing. We don’t have to wait for the laws to work before we take action. How many people do we lose to cholera each year? How many people do we lose to malaria each month? How many do we lose in these yearly avoidable floods? Families have been broken because of our actions. Many have lost their loved ones because most of us cannot do the right thing. Are we waiting for tragedy to reach us before we start doing what is right?

If we don’t take matters into our own hands, who will do it for us? It is time to fight for what we love. Even if you do not love this great continent of ours just remember that many of your loved ones live here. If you don’t take action today, they may be the next to suffer.

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