* As sensitisation to communities for them to maintain hygienic standards by honouring the clean-up campaign launched in 2020
* My plea is that every Malawian should take part in this campaign and ‘Tipewe Cholera’ campaign
* Chikwawa has maintained the exercise every month since the national clean-up day campaign was launched
By Noel Chimwala & Leah Malimbasa, MANA
The National Clean-up Day campaign, which President Lazarus Chakwera launched in November 2020 — aimed at promoting both organised and individual clean up events and volunteering to keep the outdoors clean — seems to have been overtaken by various events but Chikwawa District Council has come out in the open to sensitise its resuscitation.
On Friday, Minister of Water & Sanitation, Abida Mia, who is Member of Parliament for Nkombedzi Constituency, joined a cleaning exercise at Ngabu main market in the district — where it was disclosed that Chikwawa District Council has maintained the exercise every month since the national clean-up day campaign was launched.
Chikwawa District Commissioner Nardin Kamba, while commending MP Mia and all partners who joined the sweeping exercise, said they will continue to keep Chikwawa clean and prevent communicable diseases.
“The support we receive during clean-up day is overwhelming and we do not take it for granted,” Kamba said of the support the Council receives from Mia and all the partners who take part in the monthly cleaning exercise.
On her part, Mia emphasized that President Chakwera launched the clean-up initiative to ensure that people are preventing cholera and other hygiene related diseases, saying this will ensure that the country is kept clean and people are able to maintain hygienic standards.
“My participation in this clean-up exercise is also part of sensitisation to communities for them to maintain hygienic standards, and my plea is that every Malawian should take part in this campaign and ‘Tipewe Cholera’ campaign.”
Mia further reiterated government’s commitment to provide potable water and sanitation facilities, saying: “After finishing water projects in the district, we will start toilet projects to make sure that all public places like markets have good toilets and good water.”
Traditional Authority Ngabu applauded the Minister for her participation, which he described as a trait of a good leader who puts her words into action.
Ngabu further advised people to continue this clean up initiative in their respective areas, saying: “This should be our culture in our homes, markets, schools, churches and working places to prevent the spread of diseases like cholera.”
The clean-up day was patronised by traditional chiefs, Chikwawa District Council, Police, Malawi Red Cross Society, Pastors Fraternal, Ward Councilors, Youths Clubs, Press Cane Company, Illovo Sugar Malawi, Yoneco and market committees.
Launched under the theme: ‘A Clean Environment: My right, My Responsibility’, the initiative aims at promoting both organised and individual clean up events and volunteering to keep the outdoors clean.
Chakwera was joined at the inaugural ceremony in Lilongwe by the First Lady, the Vice-President Saulos Chilima; former British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer and other high profile dignitaries.
Dressed in a white protective helmet, white waste coat and white gumboots, Chakwera and the rest enjoyed irresistible camaraderie as they showed that it is the responsibility of every citizenry to keep Malawi environment waste-free and clean all the time.
And addressing a gathering at Chinsapo later, Chakwera said the clean-up day will be celebrated on the second Friday of every month and the launch means that every Malawian should commit themselves to clean up their surroundings.
He said there was need for mindset change, saying people do not care for their surroundings by disposing of their waste within their neighbourhoods — emphasizing that the carelessly discarded waste creates bad odour in neighborhoods as well as posing potential risk to public health.
Chakwera also asked Malawians own their actions for their own sake and the people around them, adding that the responsibility of a clean city and a clean environment should not be left to the City Council only because that mindset will never correct the unethical habit where people dump their waste everywhere expecting the City Council to clean up after them.
“As the theme suggests, a clean environment is the right and responsibility of every person. People dump their waste anywhere and everywhere — that is wrong and very hazardous to our environment.
But the event seemed to have been overtaken by events when CoVID-19 compelled the citizenry to stay indoors, as well as the two cyclones and the cholera outbreaks — that claimed many lives.
In the recovery process, others such as Chikwawa District, are reminding the rest of the country, that the National Clean-up Day is to be observed on the second Friday of every month as did Minister Mia by joining her constituents.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express