By Kondwani Magombo, MANA
At the launch of the National Clean-up initiative on Friday in Mangochi Member of Parliament (MP) for Mangochi South, Lilian Patel expressed concern that use of thin plastics has contributed to the careless littering that is degrading the environment and she called for mindset change.
Patel, who joined First Deputy Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly and Mangochi Mkungulu legislator, Aisha Mambo Adams to launch the district’s Clean-up initiative appealed for establishment and implementation of special by-laws on littering and that those found in the wrong should be punished accordingly.
“In our days we used to carry baskets whenever we went shopping but nowadays people go shopping empty-handed knowing they’ll get a plastic bag right at the shop or at the market.
“This has to stop because we are destroying the environment with the plastics,” Patel said.
The First Deputy Speaker, who was guest of honour at the function, also bemoaned continued use of thin plastics despite the existing ban and she urged the police to help in enforcing the ban.
During his weekly briefing last week to explain the implementation of National Resilient Strategy to ensure a systematic approach to environmental restoration, President Lazarus Chakwera also expressed concern, saying the ban on the use of thin plastics will be implemented, by ensuring that all key players involved should adhere to the set rules and regulations.
And at the launch of the National Clean-up initiative in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Chakwera said the country will soon “completely stop the use of plastic bags and migrate to environmental friendly carrier bags so that we protect our environment and our lives”.
At the Mangochi launch, Adams declared herself Clean-up Initiative Ambassador for Mangochi, saying she volunteered herself for the role so that this initiative should be taken seriously and that it should cascade to community and household levels.
“I am an Ambassador for Girl Education, the role I was given by Plan Malawi, but today I am giving myself the role of Ambassador for the Clean-up Initiative in Mangochi,” said Adams.
“But this is not a task I can do alone, let’s work collectively to have a new and clean Mangochi in this new Malawi.”
Earlier speakers included Mayor of the Mangochi Municipal Council, Clr. Edina Yusuf Jossi; Mangochi District Council chairperson Clr. Allan Sam Mmadi and Senior Chief Chowe.
The three emphasized in their separate speeches on the need for people in Mangochi to embrace the culture of cleanliness right from their homes to workplace and other places.
The joint Clean-up Initiative launch was highly patronized by public and civil society sectors, business people and local residents around town, among others.
The Clean-up exercise commenced from Mankhwala area near main roundabout and from there the group split into two: one cleaning towards Mangochi CCAP and another towards Soko area and they all joined up at Mangochi Bus Depot.
The National Clean-up Day will be observed on the second Friday of every month and the launch stresses that every Malawian should commit themselves to clean up their surroundings.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express