Lesson from Rwanda: Poverty shouldn't be an excuse to be dirty

Soprano

Village Elder
#1
By Purity Wanjohi | Thursday, Jul 11th 2019 at 21:09

Two weeks ago, I saw a doormat written, “Did you call first?” I found it to be very funny because it reminded me of a behaviour that human beings have pertaining to house visits.

There are many reasons why people like to be called in advance before they’re visited.

In my experience, I’ve found these three to be on top of the list: The host to be emotionally, physically and mentally prepared, for them to have enough food and finally to be able to clean the house and put it in order.

Recently, I went to Rwanda to visit my friend. The trip was two years in the making so you can imagine my excitement. At the time, the country had been in the news enough times because of how beautiful it was.

As a result, I decided to take an early morning flight so that I could see this the second I landed. To say that I was blown away is an understatement.

By the end of my weeklong trip, which included trips within and outside of Kigali, I had not seen a single piece of litter. And believe me when I say so because I was out looking for mistakes.

I also encountered trees too numerous to count along the roads I took out of town. What was most perplexing to me was their main bus stop.

It was clean, even though it had thousands of people using it daily. When I came back home, I asked myself, “does Kenya need to be dirty?”

In Rwanda I realised that we can be poor, but we don’t have to be dirty.

There’s a disgrace that comes with a dirty environment. The disgrace is present whether you’re rich or poor; honourable or ordinary.

That’s why we like to be called before a visitor arrives.

If anything, they should at least find our homes looking clean. Otherwise we risk tanking our reputations. We’ve also seen it in our country during dignitaries visits.

How many times have we seen our leaders spruce up the roads the dignitaries will use right before they arrive? It’s sad to see that we don’t want a clean environment for ourselves.

We only think about it when we have visitors coming so as to save face. This just shows that if we had no visitors, we would probably drown in our own trash.

If the dignitaries were to make an impromptu visit and drive through undesignated roads, they would be shocked at what they would see and conversely our level of hypocrisy.

Our leaders also spend millions of shillings beautifying right before and after elections to blind us. Dignitaries aside, as a tourist destination, we have people coming to Kenya daily.

What opinion do they have of us when they walk around our beaches, and towns in the outskirts?

You might be tempted to say that you don’t care as long as your house is clean but when they go back home, they don’t go and say that Wanjiku’s house was clean or dirty. They say Kenya. We’re Kenyan, aren’t we?

While we may be struggling with huge issues such as unemployment and corruption, having a clean environment should come naturally to us. When people visit us abruptly, we shouldn’t be forced to make up excuses for or lie about why the general proximity of our house is dirty. We should be able to be proud of the place we call home.

A clean environment is also the first step to solving big problems. A clean environment brings people together and while there you might meet someone with a job opportunity or hear of a possible problem that needs a solution you can provide.

A clean environment promotes good physical and mental health, reduces healthcare problems and attracts businesses thus improving the economy. Therefore, we should commit to keeping our immediate environment clean.

You don’t need the Government to clean outside your house or business. When you and your neighbours keep your compound and businesses clean, a whole street is cleaned.

However, we may find that in spite of its importance, the Government might be reluctant to support our efforts to clean the environment.

It’s here that the critical mass comes into effect. When enough of us demand better litter management services, the Government will have no option but to offer it. After all, it is a basic right.

A clean environment is good for the soul. Let’s do our very best to live, die and be buried in one.

Ms Wanjohi has a Masters degree in Environmental Planning and Management. nyawirawanjohi@gmail.com
 

rollout

Village Elder
#2
By Purity Wanjohi | Thursday, Jul 11th 2019 at 21:09

Two weeks ago, I saw a doormat written, “Did you call first?” I found it to be very funny because it reminded me of a behaviour that human beings have pertaining to house visits.

There are many reasons why people like to be called in advance before they’re visited.

In my experience, I’ve found these three to be on top of the list: The host to be emotionally, physically and mentally prepared, for them to have enough food and finally to be able to clean the house and put it in order.

Recently, I went to Rwanda to visit my friend. The trip was two years in the making so you can imagine my excitement. At the time, the country had been in the news enough times because of how beautiful it was.

As a result, I decided to take an early morning flight so that I could see this the second I landed. To say that I was blown away is an understatement.

By the end of my weeklong trip, which included trips within and outside of Kigali, I had not seen a single piece of litter. And believe me when I say so because I was out looking for mistakes.

I also encountered trees too numerous to count along the roads I took out of town. What was most perplexing to me was their main bus stop.

It was clean, even though it had thousands of people using it daily. When I came back home, I asked myself, “does Kenya need to be dirty?”

In Rwanda I realised that we can be poor, but we don’t have to be dirty.

There’s a disgrace that comes with a dirty environment. The disgrace is present whether you’re rich or poor; honourable or ordinary.

That’s why we like to be called before a visitor arrives.

If anything, they should at least find our homes looking clean. Otherwise we risk tanking our reputations. We’ve also seen it in our country during dignitaries visits.

How many times have we seen our leaders spruce up the roads the dignitaries will use right before they arrive? It’s sad to see that we don’t want a clean environment for ourselves.

We only think about it when we have visitors coming so as to save face. This just shows that if we had no visitors, we would probably drown in our own trash.

If the dignitaries were to make an impromptu visit and drive through undesignated roads, they would be shocked at what they would see and conversely our level of hypocrisy.

Our leaders also spend millions of shillings beautifying right before and after elections to blind us. Dignitaries aside, as a tourist destination, we have people coming to Kenya daily.

What opinion do they have of us when they walk around our beaches, and towns in the outskirts?

You might be tempted to say that you don’t care as long as your house is clean but when they go back home, they don’t go and say that Wanjiku’s house was clean or dirty. They say Kenya. We’re Kenyan, aren’t we?

While we may be struggling with huge issues such as unemployment and corruption, having a clean environment should come naturally to us. When people visit us abruptly, we shouldn’t be forced to make up excuses for or lie about why the general proximity of our house is dirty. We should be able to be proud of the place we call home.

A clean environment is also the first step to solving big problems. A clean environment brings people together and while there you might meet someone with a job opportunity or hear of a possible problem that needs a solution you can provide.

A clean environment promotes good physical and mental health, reduces healthcare problems and attracts businesses thus improving the economy. Therefore, we should commit to keeping our immediate environment clean.

You don’t need the Government to clean outside your house or business. When you and your neighbours keep your compound and businesses clean, a whole street is cleaned.

However, we may find that in spite of its importance, the Government might be reluctant to support our efforts to clean the environment.

It’s here that the critical mass comes into effect. When enough of us demand better litter management services, the Government will have no option but to offer it. After all, it is a basic right.

A clean environment is good for the soul. Let’s do our very best to live, die and be buried in one.

Ms Wanjohi has a Masters degree in Environmental Planning and Management. nyawirawanjohi@gmail.com
step out of kigali and you will know poverty is alive and doing well in rwanda
 

spear

Village Sponsor
#7
Rwanda is working because President Kagame as a former spook and intelligence chief in Ug then Rwanda took his ways to government. Strong supervision. From top to bottom he see through his decision filter through to the last person and how it was effected. That's how he knows who is good, lazy, slow, idle or bad. That strong control can be appreciated by some but hated by others in equal measure. He also able to critic himself, make changes and improve.

The second bit is that most people forget tiny Rwanda controls central and parts of south DRC region that is 20 times its size. That arrangement was setup during Clinton era when him and M7 were the blue eye darlings of the west. A lot of unofficial trade from those regions get to Rwanda off the books before they are flown abroad from Kigali airport or driven to Mombasa for export. The income generated there is shared among west companies, spy agencies on behalf of their governments and Rwanda. They in turn have zero obligation to develop DRC regions they control. Let me put it into perspective. If Nairobi was collecting revenue in 150 counties? How much would that be? Then none of that money collected is sent to the counties as devolved funds. Imagine Nairobi county with an official budget of $20 billion annually and the same unofficially. Nini mtafanya.
 

thesavage

Village Elder
#9
I have friends in rwanda who want to relocate to. KE... Reason.. Rwanda biashara iko chini sana...

Soo.. They might be clean... Lakini wengi wao wana suffering...
Good point. All those Rwandese chicks you guys are screwing on weekends dont want to hear anything about Rwanda. Wanasema afadhali waende Uganda.
 
#10
step out of kigali and you will know poverty is alive and doing well in rwanda
She didn't dispute the poverty part. That's why she is saying you can be poor but clean. I work in Rwanda and admire the extent the government goes to provide good infrastructure even in the village. You should also understand that with its steep terrain, most of people who don't live near the road can't access services since most of them are concentrated near roads
 

mentor

Village Elder
#11
She didn't dispute the poverty part. That's why she is saying you can be poor but clean. I work in Rwanda and admire the extent the government goes to provide good infrastructure even in the village. You should also understand that with its steep terrain, most of people who don't live near the road can't access services since most of them are concentrated near roads
Glad you were fast to correct that idiot. Stayed in rubavu district and the place is excellent, environmentally. Farming thrives, and they feed the eastern part of congo
Congolese are only good in merry making but lazy stupid mofos
 

Mr Black

Village Elder
#12
I read an interesting piece the day before yesterday, it has been established that poor waste management breeds drug-resistant bacteria, in 2002 82% of typhoid strains were untreatable using recommended antibiotics, staphyloccocus aureus which causes pneumonia, menengitis and boils is 92% resistant to penicillin, erythromycin and other drugs, the 2017 cholera outbreak too was found to have been the work of a strain that has gained resistance and needs stronger antibiotics to contain it, so cheers to the people of Rwanda, their efforts to keep their nation clean will save them a shitload of money and trips to the hospital.
 
#15
Rwanda is working because President Kagame as a former spook and intelligence chief in Ug then Rwanda took his ways to government. Strong supervision. From top to bottom he see through his decision filter through to the last person and how it was effected. That's how he knows who is good, lazy, slow, idle or bad. That strong control can be appreciated by some but hated by others in equal measure. He also able to critic himself, make changes and improve.

The second bit is that most people forget tiny Rwanda controls central and parts of south DRC region that is 20 times its size. That arrangement was setup during Clinton era when him and M7 were the blue eye darlings of the west. A lot of unofficial trade from those regions get to Rwanda off the books before they are flown abroad from Kigali airport or driven to Mombasa for export. The income generated there is shared among west companies, spy agencies on behalf of their governments and Rwanda. They in turn have zero obligation to develop DRC regions they control. Let me put it into perspective. If Nairobi was collecting revenue in 150 counties? How much would that be? Then none of that money collected is sent to the counties as devolved funds. Imagine Nairobi county with an official budget of $20 billion annually and the same unofficially. Nini mtafanya.
Rwanda isn't working stop spreading propaganda! Cleanliness is a start but guarantees nothing! Rwandese aren't happy, no economic growth, forgiveness was just cosmetic. The day Kagame dies 1994 will be a joke! He has plundered his country and forced co-existence amongst his countrymen. You need to reduce your ignorance by just 0.0001% and look at matters society more deeply. Kagame reminds one of Mao a total idiot...
 

Soprano

Village Elder
#16
If only we are clean at least in the villages tuwe tukisema eti town ndio kuchafu. Ama tuwe watheru huku town kama vile Kigali tuwe tukisema vijijini ndio kuchafu. Sasa sisi ni wachafu every left and right, every back and front, every in and out. Na ukiongea about cleanliness in Rwanda jamaa wanaleta umeffi eti ni Kigali pekee!
 

Mjuaji

Village Sponsor
#17
step out of kigali and you will know poverty is alive and doing well in rwanda
The argument is that you can be clean despite your poverty.

Travel through Africa and you'll notice Kenya scores terribly on neatness. Both Tanzania and Somalia towns are neater than Kenyan towns. Why is this?
 

Mjuaji

Village Sponsor
#18
Rwanda isn't working stop spreading propaganda! Cleanliness is a start but guarantees nothing! Rwandese aren't happy, no economic growth, forgiveness was just cosmetic. The day Kagame dies 1994 will be a joke! He has plundered his country and forced co-existence amongst his countrymen. You need to reduce your ignorance by just 0.0001% and look at matters society more deeply. Kagame reminds one of Mao a total idiot...
This is rubbish.
 

mentor

Village Elder
#19
Rwanda isn't working stop spreading propaganda! Cleanliness is a start but guarantees nothing! Rwandese aren't happy, no economic growth, forgiveness was just cosmetic. The day Kagame dies 1994 will be a joke! He has plundered his country and forced co-existence amongst his countrymen. You need to reduce your ignorance by just 0.0001% and look at matters society more deeply. Kagame reminds one of Mao a total idiot...
Phew, You forgot to add freedom of speech to your rant!! Be open minded to all truths, stop lowering Ktalk IQ below 70
 

mayekeke

Village Elder
#20
Rwanda is working because President Kagame as a former spook and intelligence chief in Ug then Rwanda took his ways to government. Strong supervision. From top to bottom he see through his decision filter through to the last person and how it was effected. That's how he knows who is good, lazy, slow, idle or bad. That strong control can be appreciated by some but hated by others in equal measure. He also able to critic himself, make changes and improve.

The second bit is that most people forget tiny Rwanda controls central and parts of south DRC region that is 20 times its size. That arrangement was setup during Clinton era when him and M7 were the blue eye darlings of the west. A lot of unofficial trade from those regions get to Rwanda off the books before they are flown abroad from Kigali airport or driven to Mombasa for export. The income generated there is shared among west companies, spy agencies on behalf of their governments and Rwanda. They in turn have zero obligation to develop DRC regions they control. Let me put it into perspective. If Nairobi was collecting revenue in 150 counties? How much would that be? Then none of that money collected is sent to the counties as devolved funds. Imagine Nairobi county with an official budget of $20 billion annually and the same unofficially. Nini mtafanya.
Kagame and Museveni make billions selling timber from Congo forests.

He has plundered his country and forced co-existence amongst his countrymen.
Nakubaliana na wewe kabisa.
 

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