The name and shame campaign against filth is a most welcome development as it comes at a time when general cleanliness is of major importance.
Towns such as Chingola which used to boast of being among the cleanest cities in Zambia no longer care about their appearance. Worse still the accumulation of filth in most cities especially Lusaka is impacting on the drainage system.
It is not unusual to have newly constructed drainages blocked with garbage or at worst blocked with stones which serve as bridges.
Inevitably when it rains, the townships are flooded and the garbage freely floats into living areas thereby endangering health and lives in general.
A visit in the evening in Lusaka’s cities shows the level of garbage accumulation in street trading areas. Huge mounds have been allowed to develop without the slightest care and attention of those trading within the vicinity and of the council.
In some cases, foodstuffs including meat are sold within these mounds and traders are at pains to swat away flies. This is certainly unhygienic and must be eradicated. However, the starting point is the individual and the indifferent attitude that most Zambians have towards general cleanliness.
Drivers and passengers alike are quite happy to throw litter of all types including glass bottles without the slightest twinge of remorse or shame.
Traders in markets dispose of waste in the most unlikely of places knowing full well that their conduct is unbecoming unhygienic and a perversion.
There are cases of truckloads of garbage being dumped during the night and sadly no effort is made to bring those responsible to book.
Diapers, not to mention flying toilets are the order of the day in most townships where toilets are not readily available.
That is why the new name and shame campaign is very important to bring cleanliness and sanity to our cities and built environment.
It is a disgrace that our city fathers have allowed most public places to build huge mounds of garbage which are never collected for long periods of time, thereby attracting rodents and other vermin that ultimately migrate into homes. Little wonder that such diseases as dysentery and cholera recur in our cities.
A serious start should be made now to ensure that hygiene is paramount and that those who defy by-laws in this regard are not only prosecuted but must be shamed to set an example to other people.
Singapore is one of the cleanest and perhaps wealthiest cities in the world because personal discipline has been honed to a level of perfection that engenders orderliness.
It is for this reason we encourage the Minister of local Government and Housing to enforce by-laws.