My grandmother’s story about the work of sanitary workers back in the days has become monotonous. But what can I do about it when this story surfaces each time she comes across a pool of stagnant water or a pile of dirt, which is unfortunately common place in my community.
Walking along the streets of Kumba really saddens me. It’s either I am stirring at papers littered all along the streets, rivers polluted with plastic bottles and wrappings or gutters filled to the brim with rubbish.
The relationship between our environment and our health is a simple lesson that we all learned in primary school but unfortunately, many have grown and forgotten.
How then can my community win the battle against malaria when there are mosquito breeding grounds everywhere?
We spend huge sums of money in hospitals fighting all forms of infections when the simple solution to the problem is keeping a health environment.
How healthy can a community be when the air they breathe is polluted, when the soil is being destroyed with plastic and streams contaminated?
This is a health concern which needs to be looked into. But sad to say members of my community are busy playing the blame game and shifting responsibility. They are unwilling to make a little contribution even if that simply means not littering.
All in all, I have a dream too. That one day Kumba will live up to its name “The Green City”. That I shall walk through the streets of Kumba with pride. That one day, clean water will run through gutters and flow through streams uninterrupted, that members of my community will learn to accept and fulfill their responsibility towards their environment by making little a contribution in their little corners for their wellbeing and that of the entire community.
I look forward to a day when the number of people suffering from malaria and other infections will be drastically reduced, and there will be no pools of stagnant water and piles of dirt on the streets to prompt grandma to tell her story once again.
By Anang Christy Ijang