African Women Need to do More to Keep Our Environment Clean

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Recently I stumbled on the name Clarrise Uwineza. Clarrise is a young woman in Rwanda with a passion for Bio-technology. She found a way to turn organic waste into organic fertilizer using an innovative method.

Armed with a BSc. in Environmental Chemistry, Clarrise has found a way to empower and restore farmers by reducing organic waste in the environment and creating organic fertilizer that yields great farm produce.

In Africa, keeping the environment clean is woman’s job. Our mothers were taught how to sweep and dispose waste and they passed these lessons to us. For hundreds of years, our great grandmothers and grandmothers ensured their environment was clean.

Today in urban societies, we have forgotten these lessons. People build houses without drainage systems, people build houses with drainage systems that let out to the street. World Health Organisation reckons that in Africa 84% of urban but only 45% of rural residents have access to basic sanitation.

Poor waste disposal practices are responsible for a significant proportion of the world’s infectious disease burden. Diseases due to poor water supply, sanitation, and personal and domestic hygiene cause 4.0% of all deaths and 5.7% of all disability or ill health in the world.

Keeping your environment clean greatly contributes to good health, this is a fact we all know yet we choose to ignore. estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa faces some of the biggest challenges: only 68% of individuals living in the region have access to an improved water source and only 30% of individuals have access to improved sanitation services; nearly half of all people using unimproved sources live in sub-Saharan Africa.

 Basic sanitation practices go a long way in keeping our environment clean. As mothers, sisters and daughters, the onus lies on us to ensure there is proper disposal of waste and sewage.

Even in instances when we cannot provide the funds to make this happen, we can creatively find low cost solutions that can be adapted in our environment.

I was raised by a woman who hates dirt in any form, until her environment is clean, my mother won’t eat. So that means every morning, we have to sweep and dispose waste, my mother won’t put food in her mouth until this chore has been completed.

That is the way she was raised and that was how she raised me. I have the habit of disposing stagnant water of any form anywhere I see it even if it’s not my house. I just hate seeing stagnant water because as you know, they breed mosquitoes. This is Basic Health Science I was taught in primary school.

Little things like this can go a long way in keeping our environment clean. In the next few days, I will be interviewing Clarrise and we will be talking about our environment and how we can contribute as woman.

I think her courage should teach each and every one of us a lesson. Our environment relies on us, let us do our best to contribute to her well-being.


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