So this is the big news this week. All the channels are focusing on the environment is one way or another. Many environmental lawyers are on call to give insight on what the Copenhagen meeting will mean for Africa and as was expected, many politicians who have never added any value even to their constituents have made their way to Copenhagen. For what reason, I do not know but what I know is that we are paying their allowance which again, is slated for a hike if it has not happened already.
So here is the deal. You do not need Copenhagen to start doing things right. Where I worked at last, I was privileged enough to get into meetings where the agenda on the table was the environment. My home town, Nakuru, was once the cleanest place in East Africa. It no longer is and can be described as dilapidated on various fronts. The motto for Nakuru Business Association was about restoring Nakuru’s lost glory. In these meeting, we usually had the councilors present, representatives of NEMA, a few members from the NGO sector, the Private sector etc. The interesting thing is that whatever we discuss then and which was to be implemented has never come to fruition.
And that is my point exactly here especially to the Kenyan Government and any Kenyan reading this blog.
When I have something I need to throw away, I walk with it in my hand until I find a dustbin and then dispose of it. When I am in car drinking my water or soda, when I am done, I do not open the window and throw the tin out. I leave it in the car until I reach my destination and throw it away. Sometime I leave it in the car trusting the driver will clean his car and dispose of the trash accordingly. When I see a tap running, I walk to it and shut it. It is about each of us doing our small part with regard to our immediate environment. And that means individuals cleaning after themselves, the council picking up where we leave it off, and the national government doing it part in ensuring that this becomes a national policy.
I was with my dad a couple of weeks ago and he was pissed. There are many shops and vibandas on the main road. The tragedy is that all these shop keepers, vibanda men and women, car wash guys and every other person with a premise along this road throw their trash into the drainage system just in front of their premises. And what we have there is an eyesore to behold. It is dirty green-blue boiling like muddy water with plastic bottles, plastic bags, vegetable leaves and all manner of trash in it. And they all say that the government is to blame for all of that.
The Government is to blame but for something totally different.
My dad had a very simple solution to all this mess. He said that if it were him in charge, he would tell everybody on that road to either clean up the front of their premise or the shop gets closed down. And that solves it all. You either keep your premises clean (including the front of your shop) or you will have no business. And this will work because you are tying someone’s livelihood to it. And if someone else passes by those shops and decides to recklessly dispose of his trash, they will call him/her out and categorically tell them to pick that trash. Why, because that trash is a threat to their livelihood.
You would think that we should already know that. But I guess it is easier to blame it on someone else than lifting a finger to do something about it. But what is easier and actually a better place is to be is to do all that you can and then pointing a finger at the council, the government, and ultimately at those people at Copenhagen demanding that they do their jobs.