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Ideally, permanently clean

Apr 09,2017 - Last updated at Apr 09,2017

Making Jordan clean and keeping it that way could happen if the momentum of Saturday’s clean-up campaign, organised by the Ministry of Environment, can be maintained.

The campaign to clean up mostly public spaces and parks, which will hopefully not be a one-off event, brought together thousands of Jordanians of all ages, who took to the streets, sport centres, parks, forests, schools and universities to pick up trash and raise awareness to the need to keep the country clean and protect the environment. 

It was both an educational step and a civic act that all citizens should adopt at all times.

The increase in population in the country inevitably means an increase in the production of waste. Expecting the municipality workers to keep up and make wonders is unreasonable, especially when citizens do not behave in a civilised way.

One still witnesses bags of trash being thrown from car windows, cigarette butts still litter the streets and nobody seems to mind the picnicking enthusiasts who use public spaces smack in the middle of the capital to barbecue, polluting the environment and being a sore eye for passers-by. 

As important as campaigns to clean up the country are, there is a pressing need to sustain this effort and institutionalise it. 

Littering should be considered a punishable misdemeanour.

The country cannot rely solely on the efforts of citizens of good will; it must resort to laws or regulations that make littering a felony punishable at least by a heavy fine.

This may be the only way to sustain the ongoing efforts to keep the country clean.

We need to foster a culture of cleanliness and enhance most citizens’ sense of civic duty, often sorely missing.

To blame are families, schools and everybody else who should inculcate this culture in children at a very early age, yet, do little or nothing about it.

Cleanliness is a virtue. Having a clean country should be a matter of pride, especially for a proud people like ours.

 

Why, then, do we still litter?

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