Mwanza is Rubbish!

….or more accurately there’s a lot of rubbish (garbage) in Mwanza.

The truth of the matter is that Tanzanian society is not geared up for dealing with litter. Rubbish is not collected in any organised fashion. There are no weekly collections, although people do go around clearing rubbish, this tends to be rubbish which is clogging up the drains in town or on the roadside. Individual organisations (shops, hotels, schools etc) might clean their own properties and the fronts but overall litter litters the streets, there are bins made of iron attached to lamp posts but these have corroded away so that the bin has no bottom.

The rubbish from across town is often burned – no recycling here other than glass bottles returned to the place of purchase. Plastics are burned with organics, I am unsure exactly what happens to metals. All a far cry from my former town of Milton Keynes where recycling was very much to the fore.

The rubbish which remains unburnt eventually ends up in the rivers and streams washed down by the rains.

The effect is to clog up the natural causeways for the water to flow and leads to flooding in times of intense downpour such as that we had on Christmas Eve.

I wonder whether things will ever improve. Perhaps Tanzanians can learn from neighbouring Rwanda. Friends over there at the moment are marvelling at the cleanliness of the place. Apparently all of the society are required to do litter clearance one day per month (from the highest in society to the lowest).

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