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Our country's Disregard for Proper Waste Management

22 Jun 2023 at 13:12hrs | Views
As a nation, we are notorious for our lack of proper waste management. It's as if we have accepted the garbage-filled streets and overflowing landfills as a normal part of our daily lives. We have become accustomed to the filthy smell that greets us every time we walk outside our houses, and the sight of heaps of garbage piled high in various corners of the city has become something of a familiar sight. It's time we take a long hard look at ourselves and ask, "Is this really the Zimbabwe we want to live in?"

I know what you're thinking, "Waste management is such a boring topic, why should I even care?" Well, let me tell you, proper waste management is essential for the health and wellbeing of our communities. Not only is it important for the physical health of our citizens, but it also affects our economy and the environment. Let's break it down a bit, shall we?

First and foremost, improper waste management can lead to a plethora of health hazards. The heaps of garbage littered around our cities and towns can attract all sorts of pests, from rats and cockroaches to snakes and other creepy crawlies. This, in turn, can cause diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and various other illnesses. Additionally, the toxic chemicals found in some types of waste can leach into the soil and cause long-term environmental damage. It's not just about keeping our streets clean; it's about protecting the health of our citizens and our environment.
But wait, there's more. Poor waste management also has a negative impact on our economy. Industries such as tourism and hospitality suffer when potential investors and visitors are greeted with garbage as soon as they step off their planes. Who wants to visit a country where the streets are filled with litter and the air is thick with a pungent smell? Furthermore, improper waste management can lead to a loss of revenue for the government; in countries with proper waste management systems, waste is often treated as a resource that can be recycled and turned into something useful - generating income for the state. It's time we stop treating our garbage as something to be ignored and start treating it as an opportunity to improve our economy.

Now, I'm not saying that we need to turn our country into some kind of pristine, garbage-free utopia overnight. We need to start small, by making changes in our daily lives that can have a big impact. Here are a few ideas to get us started:
Let's start by reducing the amount of waste we produce. This can be as simple as carrying our own reusable bags to the grocery store instead of using plastic bags that will just end up in a landfill. We can also try to buy products with minimal packaging - those fancy individual plastic wrappers aren't really necessary, are they?

Speaking of plastic, it's time we start taking more responsibility for the plastic waste we generate. We can start by properly disposing of plastic; this means not throwing it out of car windows or dumping it in gutters. We can also try to reduce our plastic use by avoiding products that are wrapped in excessive plastic or those that contain microplastics - small particles of plastic that contribute to pollution in our oceans.
Education is key. We need to teach our children the importance of proper waste management from a young age. This means teaching them how to properly dispose of waste, the dangers of littering, and the importance of recycling. It's important that they understand that proper waste management is their responsibility, and that it's a part of being a responsible citizen.

We need to hold our leaders accountable. The government has a responsibility to provide basic services to its citizens, and proper waste management is one of them. We need to demand that our government takes appropriate action to ensure that our streets and communities are clean and safe. This means increasing funding for waste management initiatives, investing in proper infrastructure for collection and treatment of waste, and holding those responsible for littering and illegal dumping accountable for their actions.

Our disregard for proper waste management is a serious issue that affects not only our physical health but also the health of our economy and environment. We need to take responsibility for our waste and take action to implement proper waste management systems. It's time we stop turning a blind eye to this issue and start making changes, no matter how small they may seem. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, but it's still standing centuries later thanks to the hard work and dedication of its citizens. Let's make the same effort for our beloved Zimbabwe.

Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo |
Writer, Blogger, Poet and Researcher
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Source - Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo
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