#Article (Archive)

The garbage factor

Apr 10, 2015, 9:55 AM

It has again been announced that tomorrow is set settal, a national cleansing day.

All – including private individuals, government officials, companies and institutions – are expected to engage in the exercise, whose value is immeasurable.

It is an exceptionally good omen to keep such a practice alive and kicking even as it has graduated to twice a month.

During such exercise, a lot of garbage of various colours, shades, odour and even toxic materials are gathered and dumped outside of our premises, on the streets and roadsides.

While this act gives a semblance of cleaning our environment, it however adds to the pillage and mountains of filth and garbage in some of our surroundings, creating hazardous odour and toxic chemical substances, as well as giving life to harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses that are of lethal nature to human life.

We should always make haste to clear away these hazardous wastes from our surroundings, even from designated garbage dump areas, as they emit very foul smell and breed mosquitoes that affect our health through toxic suffocation and the malaria-killer disease.

It is essential to note that throwing our waste or garbage away is not sufficient; it would be just like what environmentalist Jim Puckett writes in his essay ‘A Place Called Away’. He says: “Wherever we live, we must realize that when we sweep things out of our lives and throw them away…they don’t ever disappear as we might like to believe. We must know that ‘away’ is likely to be a place where people and environments will suffer for our carelessness, our ignorance or indifference.”

If any inkling could be drawn from this statement by Puckett - though he was referring to the dumping in Africa of wastes from developed countries – it is also telling us that we are exposing our health and lives to hazardous situation if we cultivate the habit of dumping garbage in our surroundings and leave it there.

There are, however, three sides to the story: your side, my side and then the authority, which is the area councils and market tax collectors.

The garbage factor must be factorised as we conduct the regular cleansing exercise, for us to live a healthy life.

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”