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Is doing clean-ups enough to end litter problem
Youth Forum
November 15, 2013

View this article on the Youth Forum website

Besides volunteer cleaners, the Harare City Council cleaners can be seen going through their cleaning routines every day, only for the cleaned-up areas to be littered again in no time.

The benefits of having clean up campaigns are not merely economic. The day is intended to build community involvement and strengthen cohesion between persons of different background and levels. One such benefit is that people can access authorities to articulate their needs and voice opinions on various issues.

Youth Forum embodies ideas of joint effort, mutual assistance and social responsibility, and community self-reliance. People participate in cleaning streets, cutting grass and trimming bushes along roads. People with particular skills offer their services for free on this day.

But in spite of all the clean-up efforts, people still continue to litter, and the city is still a long way from being clean. It is our hope that by actually raising not just awareness but also attaching a required action it will help the people to be more courteous and less likely to litter. Clean ups will change the mindsets of individuals to be able to realize that their actions may not have an adverse affect on them immediately but throwing away their rubbish causes damage to the environment and the general outlook on their city or town. These initiatives will encourage people to be responsible for ourselves and take charge of our surroundings.

The people’s wrong mindset towards littering, loss of national pride, lack of enforcement of the anti-littering law, non-collection of refuse and not being innovative with waste are also amongst the host of the causes of the problem of litter.

People need to be made aware that littering is not only an embarrassing habit, but it is very illegal and carries a US$50 fine. Law enforcers need to do their job and start arresting people for throwing litter around.

Zimbabweans should realize there is a lot of potential for business in waste and that nothing should be allowed to go to waste. Reducing, re-using and recycling should be terms everyone is familiar with.

And as for the responsible authorities, they should start honoring their pledge to serve the people and stop dishing out the “lack of funds” mantra!

Only if and when all these factors are put together, will litter become a thing of the past in Zimbabwe!

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