A cleaner Malawi, maybe?


Who are we waiting for to clean up our country?

The person who said cleanliness is next to godliness knew exactly what they were talking about. Some environments become so dirty, messy and nasty that they are almost demonic. Maybe Malawi is not such a God-fearing nation after all. Oh well.

What most people forget is that a clean environment is healthy, comfortable and mature; therefore, progressive. For one, a dirty environment dampens people’s moods without them even realising it.


In other instances, the kind of environment a person nurtures or tolerates reflects upon how organised the person is (in general about their lives). I have observed that half the time people who like to keep things in order are generally disciplined about other aspects of their lives; they stick to plans, they are time-keepers, they do not easily get carried away and they have an active conscience.

Even in workplaces, a clattered workplace demoralises people as compared to a well kept one. For many, an unkempt environment makes them restless and, in turn, affects their concentration on important matters at hand.

On this point, it is important to highlight that keeping a clean office is the duty of all people in that office. Having office assistants and cleaners does not entail that people should mess up the working environment and wait for someone else to clean up after them; that is mediocrity at its worst. It is shallow behaviour.


If we want to talk about health, then a clean environment is always number one on the list. Apart from the visual appeal, an environment that is clean is important because the opposite attracts harmful bacteria and those disgusting creatures known as cockroaches. Cockroaches are a common sight in any unclean or nasty environments.

There are some kitchens and toilets in our homes that are a haven for cockroaches; they are so cockroach-infested that even the utensils always have a cockroach smell on them unless they get rinsed just before use. In some places you will even find maggots lurking out of nowhere.

What is alarming is that these cockroaches, and most of the creatures that breed in dirty environments, are disease carriers. The harmful bacteria and cockroaches all lead to some known (and unknown) infections once they come into contact with food or contaminate the human body through other less direct means.

As of public places, I am sure many of us are guilty of littering. If we say we have never littered in our lives, it would be a very white lie. Most of us are guilty of littering charges; the credit vouchers, takeaway boxes, household trash, fruit peels, candy wrappers here and there; while our consciences nag us in the background. Let us listen to that conscience and refrain from petty littering. Charity begins at home.

But these are not the only concerns here; the issue here is consistent, unchecked and explicit dirtiness and simply messing up the environment. What is most alarming, and what we usually see in our residential areas, is people taking out waste and garbage from inside their compounds to the middle of the road or anywhere else outside their compound. They do not care about the discomfort this causes to other people; neither do they care about the sanitary bruises it inflicts on the environment at large.

But I think there is a special place in hell for the people urinating left, right and centre in town, on any available pole, corner and fence; just because their anatomy allows them to get away with such perversion. The stench from such places is appalling. It is a classic example of a sanitary hazard. Apart from the stench, the act is indecent at most, because half the time people do this without caring about who is passing by; be it young children and members of the opposite sex.

Malawians need to be more responsible about their immediate and extensive environments. We all need to be conscious of the type of environment we are nurturing and how it affects our well-being and the well-being of those around us and, consequently, the well-being of the nation at large. And, with the whole boosting tourism affair we have going on, we need to manage the image of the country at large and this means preserving our environment and keeping it clean. I look forward to the day I can enjoy a picnic with friends and family along the banks of Lilongwe River or Mudi River.

I rest my case.

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