Thursday, October 04, 2007

RTF: Focus on Latrines? Seriously?

It is Friday, so you can definitely expect me to go off on random thoughts. I will try that, as long as I don’t veer way off the road. I will try to stick within sensible limits.

You know what? This world is full of surprises (But may be there are no surprises since human beings are capable of anything – be it brilliant or stupid). I just couldn’t prove that notion without the help of this wonderful article from ThisDay .

Did you get the story? Isn’t amazing that there is actually a global summit to discuss, among other things, creative solutions for the shortage of latrines in Tanzania? Don’t blink, you read that right.

It is one thing to be rich, but the more I see what rich folks do, I have come to the conclusion that money does not really make one wise. That is clearly depicted by the endless stupidity that little, but rich Hollywood kids, display on a constant basis. But again, we can say these kids act this way because this comes in somewhat easier ways.

Just looking at the list of dignitaries listed by ThisDay as members of this global summit (such as the EU Commissioner, Netherlands PM, Nicholas Negroponte, etc), I couldn’t just wonder: what are these folks smoking? I mean, is shortage of latrines in Tanzania really an issue that these intelligent folks (I’m assuming that they are truly intelligent) could focus their attention on? Who even put this on the agenda?

See, I am not denying that hygiene is important for Tanzania, but who is really responsible for that? Do you really mean to tell me that Tanzanians are not creative enough to solve hygiene problems on their own to the extent that a global summit should be called on to discuss ways to provide latrines for Tanzanians?

Honestly, human beings can lose it at times. Can someone really prove to me that Tanzania is that poor or dumb to the extent that a global summit is needed to help Tanzanians find a “creative solution” to store their own poop? Seriously, how much money does it really take to construct one pit latrine for instance? Besides, isn’t Tanzania a country that is boasting of being the third country in Africa for gold production ? Where does the government hide all the dough? (Oh, I forgot, there are all those BOT and Buzwagi scandals)

Just for the records, let me repeat this: celebrities can’t solve Africa’s problems. That is something that has to come from deep within Africans’ guts. Tanzanians have to have a resolve in taking care of issues that don’t really need some Negropontes or Gates to solve.

I know that Bill Gates and the rest have good intentions. Nonetheless, I believe we are not headed in the right direction. This is a classic example of how rich folks are bored to the extent that they are “finding the meaning of life” even in ridiculous areas. But the biggest concern is not the rich gang’s attitude towards Africa’s problem; my biggest issue is how Africans themselves view their problems. What does it really speak of Tanzanians for a global summit to even talk about latrine shortage in their country?

I know it is boring to repeat this mindset change thing over and over again. But that the issues in Tanzania are rooted therein. For Pete’s sake, we are ranked third in Africa for gold production and we still poop under trees and sprinkle on walls! Our issues have to be deeply rooted in our culture and how we view life. Unfortunately, for our own mindset, we have the Negropontes planning to send us latrines, of all things that we need. How sad is that?

And I bet the summit would be assessed as successful in the end. Isn’t that something?

Enjoy your weekend.

4 comments:

wayne said...

Metty,
I agree - world civic, government and social change leaders could surely find something more important to focus on rather than spending a lot of time, money and other resources on studying the need to build more / better latrines. Heck, if they had just asked me, I could have run several hundred thousand photocopies of the page on how to build a proper latrine from "Mahali Pasipo Daktari", handed them out in cities, towns and villages around Tanzania and be done with it. A great waste of time & energy.

SIMON KITURURU said...

Samahani, natoka nje ya somo!

Njoo tumalizie kujadili kipengele, ili tuende kwenye hatua nyingine ya kuboresha wanajumuiya wa jumuiya ya Watanzania wanao tembelea au wanao blogi.

Tembelea hapa : http://blogutanzania.blogspot.com/
ilia tumalize kujazia dondoo ili tu anze na kipengele kingine.
Idumu JUMUWATA!

Maricha said...

I do not know what kind of vyoo their called a summit for, But I do think there are creative ways to implement vyoo especially in rural areas, Yes Creative ways!

May be they are looking at "green" vyoo, or may be latrines that could be used to generate some kind of power. or may be latrines that dries up poops, and then safely use it as manure. or may be help them use those latrines in such a way that it does not become center point source of contamination and infections.

Whether we like it or not I guess we need help folks. If we were so independent the way we think we are, we would have done right things right. If we think we educated enough to take care of ourselves the global summit wouldn't have been called for latrines issues. Or by the way where does kipindu pindu come from? doesn't it have connection with choo?

I am for anything that advances us forward, I do not care where that trigger, Idea, summit or whatever you want to call it is originated from> I would rather have a million creative ways to solve choo issues than having one way of squandering our natural resources, mismanaging projects, signing bogus contracts or one way of embezzling public funds.

I am not trying to choose the lesser evil that is just a fact!

Jaduong Metty said...

@Wayne,
Sometimes, in order for folks to feel important, they would go on a journey to invent the wheel...

@Maricha,
I agree that we need solutions, regardless of where they are coming from. Nonetheless, my artlicle has two sides to it 1)do celebrities really understand the core problem in Africa? 2) is lack of latrines in Tanzania caused by lack of "creativity" or other underlying issues?

My central message(though could have been hidden) is that the solution to most of Tanzania's problems are right there in our hearts. I have said this so many times, there is no scientific research that has proven that Africans are stupid compared to other races.

The issue then, has to be something else. Whatever that is, it is has be solved by Africans themselves.

That's my message.