Clean environment for a productive, healthy generation
The fourth World Cleanup Day was celebrated on Saturday, 18 September 2021 by different waste cleaning activities across the globe in towns and cities. Tens of millions of voluntary people from 180 countries have joined the cleaning celebration by cleaning their environments during the day.
According to the organizer of the campaign entitled Let’s Do It World, World Cleanup Day, during the past three years of existence, World Cleanup Day has engaged over 50 million people from more than 180 countries. According to these global civic organizations, during the fourth world cleanup day, over 21 million voluntary people joined the mobilization.
The day is marked to harness the power of people around the globe to keep the health and beauty of the world environment by the cooperation and collaboration of the people at all levels, from citizens to businesses and governments.
The world cleanup day is the largest single civic action against waste to see the waste-free clean world and aiming to raise awareness of the scale of the global waste crisis threatening the environment and the lives of millions of people and all living beings, according to this environmental civic organization.
Similarly, Ethiopia has celebrated World Cleanup Day on Saturday by cleaning activities mainly mobilizing school communities across the country. Ethiopia celebrated the day for the second time with the motto “clean schools for a generation” organized by the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, Ministry of Education and UN-Habitats.
During the day, students, teachers, public servants and the general public were mobilized to clean their environments mainly focusing on schools and school surrounding areas. During the day, higher government officials including ministers attended the campaign in Addis Ababa.
Across the schools in Addis Ababa, settlers and the school’s community were massively engaged in cleaning the campus and surrounding of schools to make the schools clean and safe as schools are preparing to open the next year’s teaching-learning calendar after the summer break.
During the event, Engineer Aysha Mohhamed, Minister of Urban Development and Construction said that the ministry is working to make cities clean, safe and suitable for their settlers. She added that “efforts are underway to create job opportunities for the youth to replace the waste-producing in cities and towns into a resource by recycling it.”
Engineer Aysha stated that without the strong participation and partnership of the general public, it is unthinkable to properly manage solid waste in cities and towns. She added that, in the urban development journey, the major focus is to mobilize the people to participate in every development including making cities clean and safe.
According to her, the focus of the 2021 world cleanup day in Ethiopia is cleaning school campuses and the surrounding aiming at having clean and suitable schools for students and to create awareness for the students to make cleaning waste their day to day culture in their future. Building a positive attitude on the mind of students helps not only having clean and suitable schools but also clean and suitable cities and healthy and productive future generation.
Public Service Institutions’ Coordinator with the Deputy Mayor Status at Addis Ababa City Administration, Jantarar Abay on his part during his participation at Menen Girls’ School at the cleanup said that cleaning schools help students to enjoy their environment and to have a healthy and productive generation.
He added that “while we are celebrating the world cleanup day by cleaning our environment, we have to also clean racism and hate from our minds.” Engineer Getahun Mekuriya (PhD), Minister of Education on his part argued that “creating beautiful and clean schools is the base to create productive and healthy generation.”
According to Engineer Getahun, in addition to creating a healthy and safe environment for students, “if we create clean schools, it is possible to create a clean environment and clean cities.” He added that “the investments in schools are the basis for all our successes,” adding “this year’s world cleanup day celebration in Ethiopia is special as it gives attention to the schools.”
Dr Eng. Getahun calls all school administrators and the school community to clean schools and the school environment to make it ready for the 2014 Ethiopian Academic Year. “To fight COVID-19 in schools, school directors and teachers should give due attention to have a clean and safe environment and make ready the necessary services like water and solid waste removal systems.” In this regard, schools should become exemplary for other institutions, he added.
Similarly, Ethiopians have a century-old annual practice of collecting and burning solid waste during November month called Hidar Staten literally translated as smoked November. The aim of hidar sitaten traditional practice is to make the environment free from wastes so as to protect the society from pandemics and other diseases. During the day, every household starts cleaning their surroundings and collectively with their society members cleaned their surroundings and burnt the wastage.
Not only during the annual cleaning practices, world cleanup day and Hidar situation, but mass mobilization to clean the environment from solid waste in cities and towns also becomes a monthly activity in recent years. For example, Addis Ababa City is organizing cleanup mobilizations during the last Saturday every month. The society during this day, last Saturday of the month, commonly is cleaning their area jointly.
In a single year, over 12 cleaning campaigns were organized mobilizing millions for voluntary service. This monthly culture of cleaning the environment was held during the past two consecutive years and the third year campaign was launched in early September with the theme “Beautiful and Clean Addis Ababa in New Year”
During these mobilization campaigns, tons of solid waste was cleaned from the environment voluntarily which helps in beautifying the capital, Addis Ababa and other cities across the country.
Parallel to these activities, Addis Ababa City has also organized a 15-week campaign during the Kiremt season to clean sewerage pipelines for the free flow of sewerage and flood during the rainy season.
During the Kiremt mobilization of cleaning sewerage pipelines, the campaign helps in minimizing the effects of flood by cleaning the drainage lines, Addis Ababa City Manager in the status of Deputy Mayor, Tiratu Beyene said during the second year cleaning campaign closing and launching of the third year campaign said.
BY DARGIE KAHSAY
ETHIOPIAN HERALD 22 SEPTEMBER 2021