By Joseph Kasibante
The Vision Group cleanest City Project should be supported in the same way we supported the ‘Uganda @50 projects.
I am fond of this paraphrase by once the youngest and brilliant American President J. F. Kennedy whenever I want to emphasise the importance of cities to a nation. “We will neglect our cities at our own peril for in neglecting them we neglect the nation” John F. Kennedy said this while addressing Congress on January 30, 1962.
I consider myself the happiest Ugandan about the Vision Group’s latest project code-named “Make Uganda clean which kick-started on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. In this gargantuan project, the New Vision intends to publish analytical stories focusing on one town or municipality daily to cover the 122 urban centres.
Vision Group has committed its local language newspapers among them; Rupiny, Etop, Bukedde and Orumuri, Urban TV, Bukedde TVand other stations to feature reports about sanitation in towns.
The chain value out of the Vision Group campaign is enormous as it will bring us face to face with our day-to-day embarrassment within our localities where appalling habits of garbage disposal, careless littering and insufficient availability of latrines and toilets are the common way of life.
In this project of keep Uganda clean, I expect the New Vision and Bukedde TV cameras to expose the unbelievable scenes as it does with the Agataliiko Nfuufu 10:00 pm news cast. In the keep Uganda cleanest project Ugandan engulfed under the filth will be exposed so that they stop to represent themselves as of a high class social status on the Kampala streets, office and parties at any social gathering opposite to what actually they are.
This exposure alone will awaken the people to clean their areas of residences to suit the high dress codes they fit themselves in.
So the Vision Group campaign of “Make Uganda Clean” if not cleanest, will help the Government and local leaders to set a minimum standard of cleanness requirement, a lowest income Ugandan must maintain before thinking about minimum salary for teachers and the likes.
Say in rural areas, a family unit must have a toilet, a kitchen and a utensil rack. People must stop sleeping under the same roof with animals and birds if they wish to get rid of jiggers and other pests.
In developed countries, it is difficult to tell the difference between what they call urban or rural. The hygienic standards are the same. An urban toilet and a rural kitchen have the same facilities. A child grows up well aware about the garbage disposal culture of a, dustbin and potty manners usage.
In Africa, we take a toilet to represent the dirtiest area in a home, and a kitchen the most disorganised place unlike in the developed world.
What you see as glittering cities in the US were once horrible slums. In the 1930s shanty towns sprang up in cities across the US built by people made homeless by the Great Depression.
Areas like Seattle (in the picture below), were nicknamed Hoovervilles because their inhabitants blamed the US president, Herbert Hover, for their plight but all that came to pass not naturally or by miracles but with the Government sensitisation of the people through local leaders, civil society and media.
Once again I commend the Vision Group for wisely allocating their resources for the common good.
The writer is the president of the National Taxpayers Protection Organisation