The commonality of a littered environment makes one wonder if it is the culture of Zimbabweans to throw litter around. A paper flying out of a moving vehicle, a bottle tossed at the local dumping site, a banana peel falling onto a mini-bus floor; these and more are just a few of the many instances when litter is introduced into our environment. There a myriad of reasons why this is happening and this article has chosen to focus on the individuals who throw litter everywhere.
I would like to believe that it is not part of our culture to litter and that there are many Zimbabweans who handle litter in a responsible manner. I would like to believe that most of Zimbabweans have been socialised to be responsible with litter mainly in our homes and schools where it is normal to find a bin in which litter is thrown. With a globally renowned adult literacy rate of approximately 90% an ordinary Zimbabwean has the basic understanding of why they should not litter.
It is not always the case that a person has to throw a paper out of a moving vehicle. There is always a choice to hold on to a paper and throw it in a proper bin when you arrive at your point of destination. One needs to understand that once you have litter in your hands it is your responsibility to make sure that it is properly disposed of. It is common to think that it is the council’s responsibility or other environmental stakeholders to come after you and clean up, but NO it isn’t!!! There is always an urge to blame the inefficiency of council and yes they do have their blames but we need to take responsibility of our role in the uglifying of our environment.
Remember that the litter you will throw everywhere and anywhere will affect you in a bad way. It creates an unpleasant environment characterised by smelly places and ugly sights. It collects in drainage areas and once dumped it becomes breeding ground for rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes and flies. Because it is thrown everywhere it becomes expensive to clean up and therefore eats up into the pockets of tax payers. Our culture definitely is not about staying with rats, cockroaches and flies; it isn’t about sitting around at dirty smelly places. We are a country of smart people, who beyond our dressing invest lot on basic hygiene in our personal spaces.
As such we should feel challenged to deny being labelled as dirty people who live in dirty cities and homes. We need to hold on to our litter and place it in a bin. We have to politely tell a friend, even stranger to bin it and we need to teach our children that our culture is all about binning it.
Lets look forward to a cleaner Zimbabwe where you embrace your role as a bin it ambassador. lets keep Zimbabwe clean, it begins with you.