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Cleaning up our cities is like cleaning up a pigsty!

Edgar Lungu has complained that most Lusaka residents consume goods that contain human waste.

After touring City, Soweto and BH markets in Lusaka where cholera originated from, Edgar said trading areas where the majority of Zambians sourced their foodstuffs should not be in a state that the three markets were in. Edgar has since ordered the army to join in stopping the further spread of cholera. “There is no drainage and human waste is all over, we are all eating human waste here,” said Edgar.

Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through dirt and contaminated water. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Left untreated, cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours, even in previously healthy people. Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in many countries. But cholera is still present in our poor country. The risk of cholera epidemic is highest when poverty forces people to live in crowded conditions without adequate sanitation.

Cholera is easily treated. Death results from severe dehydration that can be prevented with a simple and inexpensive rehydration solution.

If any country is a mine-shaft canary for the reintroduction of cholera, it is Zambia – and we know it. And more should have been done to prepare for cholera which can spread like wildfire. This is a big rebuke to all of those in charge of public health and health care in Zambia. Great thanks! Our military has grace of strength to work, to clear our cities of any dirt. But clean up a pigsty and if the creatures in it still have pig-minds and pig-desires, soon it will be the same old pigsty again.

We have had similar general clean ups before. But short time after cleaning, our cities, neighbourhoods are a dirty, disorganised mess. The cause is not lack of skills or physical strength to do the cleaning but rather lack of awareness and the inability to make cleanliness, tidying a regular habit. For those who long for cleanliness and tidiness, it was hard to find peace in the middle of dirt and disorder.

Laziness has made our cities unclean. If we begin to work and act appropriately, we will clean our cities of any dirt. Living in filth is dark doom. The light of awakening leads to cleanliness.

They say cleanliness is a freedom movement for an aspiring nation. Culture of cleanliness will influence the hygiene, health, aesthetics and natural setting of the nation, which is a new age currency of a country. Good hygiene enhanced sound well-being. Cleanliness begins with purity of our own minds, thoughts and hearts. We all have a responsibility to keep our homes, surroundings and cities clean. The city shall be cleared of any dirt if every community acts collectively.

It is said that civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta. They also say that cleanliness comes next to godliness. Neatness and cleanliness is not a function of how rich or poor you are but that of mentality and principle. You cannot have healthy people if their environment is dirty – clean communities, healthy citizens! Environmental cleanliness begins with each individual’s desire to be clean. The state of our surroundings tells the conditions of our soul.

If we act in a clean way, we shall clear the city of any dirt. But where is the culture of cleanliness in this country? Again, the time to clean our city of any dirt begins with individual action for collective clean communities. Clean your mind and our country will automatically get dry-cleaned. May God be with our homeland! May Heaven bless this New Year. May it be a year of fruitfulness, of peace and prosperity; may it be a year of cleaning up our country; a year of peace and unity for all our people; may our country be freed of cholera!

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