It's an open secret that Garissa is one of the most unhygienic places in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its also a well known fact that Somalis are not the cleanest lot in Kenya. Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there is tonnes of evidence that points to the correlation between uncleanliness and the moral decline of a society.
In Islam, its prohibited to throw garbage in public and shared places. In fact the Prophet (Pbuh) said whoever does so will be exiled from Allah's mercy. He also said that God is clean and loves clean. Given our strict adherence to religion, its a mystery that we disregard these important teachings. Anyone tempted to take a walk in Garissa will be choked by dust, confronted with open sewers and piles upon piles of uncollected refuse. I know the conventional thing to do is lay blame on the Municipal council but if these irresponsible men are unwilling to do their work, should we just sit back and suffer in silence? As citizens we can organize ourselves in our own neighbourhoods and decide on ways to dispose off garbage.
We could also stop paying taxes to the Municipal Council until they get their act together and come up with an acceptable manifesto on the way forward. We are not helpless and our actions are not inconsequential. If any of you are interested in tackling the lazy conflation that Somalis are unhygienic, wild people, its paramount that you go to your families and neighbourhoods and pass on this message. The preposterousness of how we live today is deserving of all the ridicule that we get.
On an unrelated matter, does anyone know what the Ministry of Northern Kenya and Arid regions has been up to? It appears to me as nothing more than a window dressing, a smoke and mirrors situation. Their website is nonfunctional and they've had no press releases for months. Unless the good minister is perpetrating a hoax on us, he should come forward and give us a substantial explanation for the inaction of his ministry given the drought that is sweeping Northern Kenya.
Have a wonderful week ahead folks.