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Monday, January 10, 2011

Garissa and the state of Hygiene

 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.


  1. I hate that this is so true. We need to wake up.

  2. Am mindful of the sacrifices you have shown to highlight this burning issue. Today i say to you that garissa faces many challenges. And they can be met- where each of us will resolve to pitch in, work hard and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

  3. 1.0 I am very grateful to have such a person like you in our community.
    1.2 And am very sad to see the position of Islam on the matter of cleanness and the city of Garissa is too far different.
    1.3 I agree that we have no excuse to seat back and blame those who call themselves leaders.
    1.4 I believe that if each and everyone of us perform his responsibility towards the society things would not have been worse to this level.

  4. true indeed! Cleanliness are part of faith! our religion teaches us that, why go against?