Beautify Malawi! President Lazarus Chakwera has spoken against some men who have a tendency to urinate in every street corner and outdoor public space, saying the behaviour is completely unacceptable and that it is the duty of every Malawian to ensure that Malawi has clean communities.
Chakwera said this on Wednesday at Chinsapo Ground in Lilongwe when he launched a National Clean-up Day in Malawi, to be observed for three hours on the second Friday of every month.
The President who was joined by the First Lady Monica, the Vice-President Saulos Chilima, and other dignitaries, at the event also attended by opposition members, launched the initiative under the theme, ‘A Clean Environment: My Right, My Responsibility.
Chakwera arrived at Chinsapo dressed in a white protective helmet, white waste coat and white gumboots.
He, together with Chilima, participated in the clean-up exercise before he proceeded to the venue of the launch where he toured pavilions for waste recyclers and re-users.
Said Chakwera: “A clean environment is part of the new Malawi we are building, and each of us has a responsibility to make that a reality.
“We have had 26 years of garbage being dumped in our rivers; 26 years of thin plastic being thrown in our streets; 26 years of chemical waste leaking from our factory pipes; and yes, 26 years of men urinating on our trees. This legacy of environmental negligence must end, and it ends with us.”
The President appealed to Malawians to change their behaviours and keep a clean environment.
“Critical behaviours for maintaining a clean environment must become the responsibility of every individual, institution, and community. One of these critical behaviours is managing our waste, from proper segregation at source to safe disposal at designated places,” he said.
Chakwera noted that waste management is a great challenge in the country’s cities, municipalities, towns, trading centres, and markets.
“As a nation, we are generating half a kilogram of waste per capita every day. That adds up to a total of 633 fifteen-ton trucks of waste being produced every 24 hours,” he said.
Chakwera said the national clean-up day is an effort to bring Malawians together in ensuring that the waste is properly managed.
“Ultimately, our goal must be to reuse, recycle, and reduce waste. This does not even require too much innovation, because the technologies for using waste to generate gas or make briquettes for cooking already exist. These technologies are a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs, who can use all the chemical waste, electronic waste, plastic waste, general solid waste and liquid waste our society produces as raw material for products and services that add value to our lives and create green jobs,” he said.
However, President Chakwera said for this to happen, it is not just people’s action towards the environment that needs to change but attitudes must change too.
“We cannot go on with our collective attitude of apathy towards the environment, nor can we keep accommodating ignorance about the effects of our behaviour on the environment or the effects of the environment on our way of life.
“We cannot remain oblivious to the fact that our mismanagement of the environment, including the pollution of open spaces and water sources, releases greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances that contribute to climate change, cancer, and eyesores.,” he said.
Chakwera said to effect and accelerate changes in attitude towards waste, he is calling upon all educational institutions to scale up their environmental awareness programs that champion the importance of respecting the environment and living in harmony with nature.
“I also call upon those in the transport sector to play their part in deterring motorists from throwing waste outside moving vehicles on the road. I am also confident that Local Government Authorities will make waste management a key function of service delivery and promote waste segregation at source.
“There is no reason why any office, or business, or school, or home, or street pole, should not have clearly marked and conveniently placed bins for the disposal of waste. No reason at all. It is wrong and it is inexcusable. If a building or facility does not have bins for the disposal of waste, it should not be allowed to operate,” he said.
The President said on National Clean-up Day, Malawians should come together as a nation, on the second Friday of the month, to pull together in cleaning the environment.
“If you are an able person in Malawi, you must take part. Whatever your surroundings on that day, whether it is your office, factory, business place, school, hospital, place of worship, street, or home, please give three hours of your time to this initiative of cleaning the environment. We do this not just for ourselves, but for Malawi and her future sons and daughters,” he said.
Forestry and Natural Resources Minister, Nancy Tembo, has hailed President Chakwera for setting aside the second Friday of every month as National Clean UP Day.
She said the launch of the initiative signifies a new beginning that will birth a healthy people and a prosperous nation.
“A clean environment means no sicknesses and that allows people to take part in developmental activities benefitting the nation and their individual lives,” she said.
Tembo said her ministry, the Ministry of Local Government and other line ministries commit to invest as much as they can to sustain the initiative, just like other countries like Uganda have been doing.
The Minister urged communities against dumping used baby dippers everywhere, including rivers.
According to Tembo, Malawi used to receive international delegations to appreciate the beauty of her cities, including Blantyre, but that these things have now stopped because he cities are now in bad shape.
She said it is high time the country’s cities reclaimed their lost glory.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :