IN their week-long activities leading up to the celebrations of International Women’s Day which falls today, officials from Lusaka City Council ended their programme with cleaning the environment at the Civic Centre.
This gesture, besides the donations of assorted foodstuff and other items to the needy around Lusaka, was quite significant.
It was significant because cleaning the surroundings of the Civic Centre involved some of the big shots at Lusaka City Council, who included director of housing Henry Phiri, director of finance Kamwata Pongo and director of planning Francis Ng’omba.
Lusaka residents should particularly take a leaf from these gentlemen who, despite being heads of their respective departments, humbled themselves and literally took up brooms to sweep the surroundings of the Civic Centre.
Very few heads of department can do this and it is worse for ordinary Lusaka residents who, for lack of a better term, could be said to be unconscious in the way they package and dispose off waste.
Just like those at household level, Lusakans have failed to exercise any level of cleanliness and hygiene as they have been throwing garbage and litter anywhere instead of the supplied containers, even where these may be found.
The result of this bad practice has been the growing of ‘mountains and mountains’ of garbage not just in the townships around the city centre but even within the central business district itself.
Just take a few minutes and walk along Freedom Way southwards, you will find a ‘mountain’ of garbage on what was initially supposed to be the entrance of an incomplete and totally abandoned high-rise building.
The place has become the nearest dumpsite used by street vendors around the area and every one, perhaps including civic authorities themselves, have turned a blind eye to the nuisance going at this unfinished structure.
Soon, the area in question will, like so many other places in the capital city, not only produce a fetid odour for those conducting business nearby but has already the potential to be a breeding ground for water-borne diseases such as Cholera.
The same is true for so many other places in Lusaka which still have uncollected but growing heaps of garbage which are not only an eyesore in the townships but also remain a serious health hazard, especially during this rainy season which has seen some of the worst flooding.
Health of many Lusaka residents is clearly at stake because of the indiscriminate disposal of waste by some people.
Whether they throw waste during the night or during the day, what people should know is that disposing off garbage in undesignated areas is an offence.
The city council, which has specified fines for such a misdemeanor, advises that all waste should only be disposed off at central points for easy collection by the council employees.
Residents should, therefore, be responsible enough and emulate LCC officials in waste management to ensure good sanitation in the city and prevent water-borne diseases.