Leave alone some economic benefits that might have emerged out of these visits, it is obvious that some parts of the city are now breathing fresh air, thanks to the cleanliness campaigns which were conducted in various areas of this metropolitan town.
It should be noted that a few days before Obama’s arrival, extra efforts were made to make sure that the city was clean. At the junction of Morogoro and Mandela Expressway, for example, city workers were even noticed using water to clean the road.
Places like Ubungo, Manzese and Mwenge where hawkers used to conduct businesses in unauthorised quarters have now started vacating the places, looking for other convenient joints to tout their merchandises. The city is slowly becoming cleaner because city fathers have decided to apply the law seriously, a move that has forced the unlawful traders to abide by the law and conduct business in permitted areas.
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Saidi Meck Sadiki has often been directing city officials to ensure the implementation of health and cleanliness policies, vowing to take disciplinary measures against irresponsible administrators.
At times he calls upon municipal directors and other officials from all the municipalities to come up with strategies that will keep the city clean, starting from the ward level. Despite being the country’s business hub, the city is among the dirtiest regions in the country due to lack of action by the city fathers.
Recent report says that with over 4.5 million people, the city produces 4,252 tonnes of garbage everyday, but only 14.66 tonnes are collected as required by the city’s by-laws.
The fingers are pointing to the administrators who ignore their roles and responsibilities that call upon them to ensure that garbage is collected as the law demands. We think city fathers should now support the RC’s campaign after Obama visit and call for removal of street beggars and informal business people along city pavements.
Private institutions, industries and other stakeholders should supplement government efforts to keep the city clean. We are confidently sure that the city of Dar es Salaam could improve its cleanliness record and try to get away from the eighth dirtiest city in the world, the rating that was done by an American firm some five years ago.
Authorities should as well start working on focused strategies, to ensure that the city is clean and environment is preserved in a bid to rectify the situation. Such strategies should include municipal by-laws and action plans that address filthiness and environmental degradation.
It is at this point we confidently say that the cleanliness of this city should not be an individual effort, but that of the community at large. We should just not leave it up to the waste management companies to keep the city clean. It is up to each and every citizen to make a conscious effort to keep their respective environment clean and tidy.