Cleanliness key to sustainable development

04 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Cleanliness key to sustainable development

Cleanliness is not just a virtue; it is a fundamental necessity for the progress and well-being of any society.

Therefore, the need to prioritise cleanliness cannot be overstated.

Maintaining a clean environment is not just a matter of aesthetics; it has far-reaching implications for public health, tourism, and overall socio-economic development.

Zimbabwe has largely been a clean country, but the last few years have seen a significant deterioration largely attributed to laxity by local authorities and failure by citizens to observe cleanliness for one reason or the other.

The launch of a countrywide clean-up campaign by President Mnangagwa a few years ago has yielded positive results that should be augmented by a total mindset shift by some individuals and institutions towards maintaining a clean environment not just during the clean-up days, but all the time.

We also applaud efforts by the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, to inculcate a culture of cleanliness in children and Zimbabweans at large.

She has conducted clean-up programmes which have sent a message to all of us that cleanliness should be a way of life.

On our front page today, we carry a story on measures contained in a draft Statutory Instrument currently awaiting gazetting that stipulates fines ranging from US$500 to Us$5 000 for individuals and institutions caught offside in efforts to keep our beautiful country clean.

This is exactly what the doctor ordered.

A clean environment is the cornerstone of good public health. Zimbabwe, like many other countries, faces health issues that can be mitigated through improved cleanliness practices.

By keeping our streets, public spaces and water bodies clean, we can significantly reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and malaria.

Proper waste management is crucial in this regard. Local authorities should focus on implementing effective waste disposal systems, including regular garbage collection and recycling programmes.

Furthermore, public awareness campaigns should be conducted to educate citizens on the importance of proper waste disposal and the potential health risks associated with unhygienic practices.

Education plays a pivotal role in fostering a culture of cleanliness.

Educational institutions should incorporate environmental education into their curriculum right from primary school, teaching learners about the importance of cleanliness, waste management and sustainable practices.

By instilling these values from an early age, we can raise a generation that is conscious of their environment and actively works towards preserving it.

Furthermore, public awareness campaigns should be intensified to reach a wider audience.

Engaging various stakeholders, including community leaders, religious organisations and civil society groups, can help disseminate information about the benefits of cleanliness.

These campaigns should emphasise individual responsibility, thus encouraging citizens to take ownership of their environment and actively participate in its upkeep.

Also, Zimbabwe is renowned for its stunning natural landscape, diverse wildlife and rich cultural heritage.

However, the potential of tourism as an economic driver can only be fully realised if the country maintains high standards of cleanliness.

Visitors are more likely to be attracted to destinations that offer clean and well-maintained surroundings.

Promoting cleanliness in tourist attractions such as Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe and the Eastern Highlands will not only enhance the visitor experience, but also contribute to increased tourist numbers.

This, in turn, will create employment opportunities and generate revenue for local communities.

To promote cleanliness, adequate infrastructure is essential. Zimbabwe should invest in the development of waste management facilities, including more waste treatment plants and recycling centres.

This will not only facilitate proper waste disposal, but also create employment opportunities and contribute to the economy.

The Geo Pomona Waste Management project is a classic example.

Additionally, stakeholders need to combine efforts towards prioritising the provision of basic amenities such as public toilets, waste bins and clean water sources in public spaces.

This will discourage open defecation and littering, ensuring that citizens have access to hygienic facilities throughout the country.

Addressing the cleanliness challenges in Zimbabwe requires a collaborative approach.

The Government, the private sector, civil society organisations and citizens must work together to achieve the common goal of a cleaner nation.

Public-private partnerships can be forged to mobilise resources, expertise and technology for effective waste management and environmental conservation.

Cleanliness is not a luxury; it is a basic right and a fundamental aspect of sustainable development.

Zimbabwe needs to prioritise cleanliness as a strategic imperative to protect public health, enhance tourism and foster economic growth.

By investing in education, infrastructure and collaborative efforts, we can create a cleaner and healthier Zimbabwe for generations to come.

Let us embrace the responsibility of preserving our environment and realise the vision of a pristine Zimbabwe.

Share This: