Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Warri Weekly Vol. 6: Warri Is Not Dirty part one

Warri is not a dirty city, but the people of the city are dirty. Have you ever seen a city producing dirts before? There is no city in this world that produces dirts. Cities are amoral or apolitical and therefore takes on the character of its possessor.

It is easy to come on Radio, TVs’ or social media and scream “Warri is dirty” but how can a city be dirty when she is just a geographical location. The life of every city is the people that live in it. We have not had anyone come on air or tweeted that I am dirty, because we all do not want to accept but shift the responsibilities of cleaning up the city to the government.

Yes, no doubt the government has a role to play in keeping the city clean, but it’s not the government that piles up dirt’s in-between and beside our roads, It’s certainly not the government that makes dump-sites out of abandoned buildings, nor will help you fix your broken car emitting dangerous gas into the atmosphere, neither is the government that throws empty cans or polythene bags from a moving vehicle, or the filthiness that envelopes our markets, or the many dustbins placed outside our compounds that is always having more garbage surrounding the bin than inside it. Why are we so indifferent?

There’s nothing complimentary about piles of garbage stacked in-between and on the sides of our roads or the flooding or our blocked and overflowing drainage.

The world we live in today is deteriorating by the day. Global warming, ozone depletion, poor waste management and pollution are the major causes for it. Unless we take steps quickly to reverse this, there isn’t going to be a Planet Earth for the future generations. The one issue that we can handle without any external help is waste management and waste reduction. To begin with, keeping our immediate surroundings clean should be our primary target. It's our duty to ensure the city is clean and If we do not work as individuals separately to tackle this issue there is no way we can work as a team to save our city from becoming Onitsha, the world’s most dirty city according to WHO.

Many of us has come across this quote “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” but not many have understood its meaning. Keeping Warri clean is not a choice, it is a duty; a moral responsibility and here are a few reason why we should put in our efforts to having a clean Warri.

1. For Our Health.

Health is wealth, and only a wealthy man can pursue wealth, There’s nothing more important than our good health. Keeping your environment clean goes a great way in keeping you and your family healthy. Garbage that is not attended to, garbage lying on the road or in uncovered bins serve as perfect breeding grounds for pathogens and germs. Why allow germs to form? kill them off. It will reduce the spread of all contagious diseases.

2. Kill Mosquitoes

In any given year, about 500,000 people die from mosquito borne diseases (primarily malaria). Wars, in total, have killed about 100,000,000 people, The virus that Mosquitoes carries will kill that many people with time without fail and have been killing people since ancient times.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnated water. Most diseases are carried by mosquitoes. If you ensure that all the roads are clean, you are in effect preventing the mosquitoes from breeding. By keeping the city clean we could easily combat the widespread mosquito menace.

3. Aesthetic Value

Any clean place is always beautiful. Cleanliness makes the ordinary look extraordinary. Paris or New York would not be as enticing if there were plastic bags, bottles or other waste material all around. Everyone wants to live in a beautiful place. Only a few take the effort to make their own cities beautiful while others whine and complain. It is obvious that we need to keep our Warri clean to raise its aesthetic value.

4. Clean Air and Water

A clean environment guarantees you to inhale clean air free from the stench of filthiness. The dirt's on the road not only smells bad; but it also attracts many insects and mosquitoes which only exacerbates the problem. No doubt our vehicle contributes to the low quality of air in our atmosphere, but if we get our vehicles checked for emissions regularly, we minimize the pollutant levels in the air which will make the air cleaner.

An unhealthy habit that many people practice is not only dumping their garbage on the roads but into fresh water bodies. Only one percent of the total water body is readily available for consumption, anyone caught dumping waste into water bodies should be treated as a criminal because you are polluting natural resources.
When we keep water bodies in the city clean only then can the water we drink however it’s origin be free from contamination.

5. For a New Warri

By nature human beings are social creatures and if we are true to our nature we’ll seek company at all times. Living in a community imposes on us certain responsibilities. Keeping Warri clean is chief among them. It is our duty to ensure that our surroundings are clean.

We are quick to lambaste multi-nationals for failing in their corporate social responsibilities when we are guilty of same crime. It is a social responsibility that we owe the city to ensure that Warri is preserved and living conditions are sustained through the years. Giving back to the society begins with a clean habit. Better it if you can but do not at any cost worsen it. You are morally obligated to keep Warri clean.

In the west people are fined for spitting on the road or for dropping empty sachets or chocolate wrappers on pavements by mistake. They are always conscious and also pick up waste that is lying on the road without being told to do so. When are we going to learn these healthy habits from them? I think the time for change is now, this is the time for a new Warri. Better late than never.

keep a date for part two of this post or join the conversation with the hashtag #KeepWarriClean

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