Keep the place clean and safe from hazards PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:00

Our hats off to the Zamboanga City Health Office for cleaning up the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex yesterday. This noble health campaign was made possible by City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos in coordination with Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Salazar and City Councilor Rudy Bayot.

It is really about time that the place be kept clean (and must be kept clean) before an outbreak of diseases like denque will strike and add more misery to the more than thousands of IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) still staying there (how about other evacuation centers?). It will be a health pandemonium in our city if there will be a dengue outbreak from these places.

Let’s not hope but expect that this cleanliness drive will continue and not just be just a one day affair.

So how do we keep this place clean always? I believe education must be the first move. The IDP’s must understand why they have to keep their surrounding clean, how to dispose their garbage properly, and why they should be the one responsible.

What government agency is responsible and accountable in educating people about sanitation? Honestly, I don’t know. Most government and private NGOs that are helping our evacuation centers, I think, are busy in housing, health and feeding programs. We can see the garbage are littered everywhere. Where did they disposed the thousand styrofoam food containers when it was provided to them?

"Poverty is not an economic problem, but a behavioral one.” This is how NGO Gawad Kalinga defines poverty.

Gawad Kalinga believes poverty is not so much about the scarcity of resources as it is about the loss of human dignity. Force a man to live like an animal and sooner or later, he will begin acting like one. Living in a slum environment keeps people unproductive and desperate, making it the perfect breeding ground for crime and violence. Poverty strips people of their dignity and allows prejudice to breed as others tend to look down upon the poor with pity, shame or fear.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  This phrase may sound religious, and most religious sects admonish their faithful to clean up or wash up before facing the Almighty One.

Deuteronomy 15:11. “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

By Dante Corteza