26.2 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Stop the littering!


 You see passengers throwing waste from the windows of moving cars, people eating roasted corn and throwing the stalks in the middle of the road, children or even adults drinking from sachets of water and throwing the non-biodegradable plastic wherever suits their fancy. It is DISGUSTING.


It is not good enough to say that the city, municipal and area councils fail to provide waste bins in public places and therefore litter should be thrown just anywhere. It is as much a duty of the councils as it is of our individual selves to make our environment litter free. The problem is being compounded by the rains. 


Cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness. Prophet Muhammad even said cleanliness is “half of the faith”. Yet its daunting that in a country whose vast majority is Muslim literally threw away this teaching in the gutter. The soundness of faith according to all scholars manifests in the limbs and outward actions of the individual. A major sign of decadence is that we have reached such low ebb in exemplifying that prophetic teaching which is at once a fundamental trait of the believer and sign of a vibrant faithful community.


The anti-littering policies that were put in place by lawmakers is effective inasmuch as the municipalities have people who go around and pick garbage but almost nonexistent when it comes to the populace. The National Environmental Agency has been on the campaign and they should be commended for that but lately they too have almost been silent and are hardly heard.


All should go the extra mile in actualising the laws and policies in the vast juridical compendium of the land with regard to littering. The indifference of certain people in defying all cautions and openly placing garbage in unwanted places should be reprimanded and if need be prosecuted; thereby setting clear cut examples to warn the heedless and strengthen the conscientious ones who have been trying to stay away from this whole deplorable situation.


It more or less requires the awakening of the conscience of each one of us, that at the end of the day when we keep the country clean we are investing in our own well-being. A clean nation is a healthy and wealthy nation. The urban area is in a deep mess, as in the dirt and filth that accumulate in the gutters and the unauthorised garbage grounds have now made mosquitoes an all year round experience. Malaria which is one of the deadliest diseases in the tropics and the greatest killer within our part of the world is encouraged mainly by these places that accumulate rubbish and keep stagnant waters for the breeding of those dangerous virus carriers.


Educating the masses of the people of the dangers that lay in such a menace will go a long way in averting it. The civil societies and community based organisations should put these in their aims and objectives and their agendas. The cleansing exercises that most of them embark upon monthly will be complemented greatly if they educate the people on the ills of littering. 


Ultimately it’s our land and it will only become a beacon of peace, progress and prosperity within the constellation of nations, when it is looking after its basic needs and health which proceeds foremost from cleanliness and sanitation. It’s upon the government and each and every citizen to make this call a reality. We want to be like Singapore, let’s try to be as clean as Singapore first. And it will not cost us billions.


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