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Cleanliness campaign commendable

GOVERNMENT’S re-invigoration of the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign is pleasant news, especially that people were almost beginning to forget about the campaign, which has been in existence since the days of former president Levy Mwanawasa.
We are glad that Government has designated the first Saturday of every month for Zambians to clean their premises and surroundings. This will go a long way in fostering our national development seeing that cleanliness is a fundamental in development, it being synonymous with health.
The re-invigoration follows President Edgar Lungu’s directive during the official opening of Parliament recently that Zambians must clean their premises and surroundings in tandem with the theme of the forthcoming Independence Day celebrations: “Laying the Foundation for a Smart Zambia, Finding Forgiveness, Repentance, Compassion and Love in God.”
We hope all Zambians will embrace the high initiative by Government, which, without doubt, provides multiple benefits.
Among the benefits is the fact that a good number of diarrhoeal diseases will be avoided significantly.
That is vital because it will considerably reduce government expenditure on health, which is already high. More importantly, it helps our leaders to channel supplementary funds towards non-communicable diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS and other more pressing developmental projects.
It is common knowledge that our nation suffers some level of deadly diarrhoeal diseases almost each rainy season, of which cholera has been somewhat chief.
It is equally common knowledge what the major cause of these diseases is. It is dirt, of course, unsanitary environments as compounded by the problem of rainfall floods, which apparently have not been easy to deal with.
Launching the official Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign Day, Minister of Local Government and Housing John Phiri urged all citizens to take the initiative with the seriousness it deserves.
We cannot agree with him more. This is because health is both a question of personal and collective responsibility. That should make it even easier for us as Zambians to engage fully to ensure the success of the programme and guarantee our safety from opportunistic waterborne diseases.
We find wisdom in Dr Phiri’s directive to pedestrians, street vendors and all operating on streets and public places such as taxi and minibus drivers to ensure that they dispose of their waste in an appropriate manner in accordance with the Local Government Act.
It is encouraging to note the minister’s stress on cleanliness.
“A clean environment is a pre-requisite for a smart and healthy nation, and looking forward, every first Saturday of the month has been designated as the official Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign Day,” Dr Phiri said.
We are pleased to note the minister’s candour in saying that our surroundings countrywide are dirty, hence the reason everyone in the country should get involved and address the situation, which we cannot overemphasise.
That the minister has urged manufacturers and consumers to effectively play their role in the campaign by being responsible enough and finding means of disposing of waste is sagacious.
We appreciate his circumspect observation that the culture of indiscriminate dumping of waste among manufacturers has been compounded by the production of packaging materials made of plastic and glass.
The revitalisation of the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy campaign is a very welcome move.
It will, aside from preventing diarrhoeal diseases from ravaging our people, improve the international profile of our country and make it easier for us to market its tourism abroad, which will translate in major economic strides.
We, therefore, echo the minister’s words that all Zambians must engage in the programme to ensure its success.
Let us do it for the love of the country.