suffer the little children…or NOT!


Children In Dangerous Situations
Modified from memegenerator.net

SATURDAY afternoon, as I was driving from a brief Daddy-chore, I got to Kintu Road in Kitintale and joined a brief queue of cars on either side whose occupants mostly had the hairs on the backs of their necks standing on horrified ends.

My view was better than that of the people in the cars behind a large truck at the head of the oncoming queue. The three cars ahead of me facing that truck were all small salon vehicles whose occupants were certainly as petrified as I was at what we saw.

Standing in the middle of the road in front of the large truck was a little boy, not more than one year old, dressed in a dark blue shirt and matching pair of shorts. Having been alive for so short a time, he had no idea how close he was to dying at that very point.

Human beings generally believe in the supernatural because of the way that truck driver managed to spot that little boy in the middle of the road and actually stop before flattening him to the tarmac.

All the cars stopped and stayed still until someone, who turned out to be a fairly random man, came from across the road and lifted the little fellow to safety. The women who formed the welcoming committee on the other side of the road received the infant without much fan-fare.

One elderly one called to a younger one who made quarrelsome noises down at him and then, fueled by the various remarks by her neighbours in the collection of houses and rooms nearby, pushed him to the ground with the instruction, in Luganda, that he should “Go back and stay there!”

The poor fellow, not comprehending why this was happening to him, burst into tears, picked himself up, and shuffled with his dust-covered back towards the area his mother had pointed to. One minute ago he was on the flat, hot tarmac dancing a baby jig with all those fantastic vehicles whizzing past while someone played loud music nearby, and the next he was covered in dust and being hit over the head.

The lugezi-gezi kicked in and I had to strike up a conversation, but not with the errant young mother – with the elderly one who I insisted should have known better and had a responsibility to guide the other.

She started by explaining that the child had followed his unknowing mother and then strayed, but I cut her short – at which point she summoned the offending mother.

No – I wasn’t going to arrest her even though she deserved it, I said, as the offending mother also tried to explain that the little one had just followed her…I lost my patience a little bit and explained that it was mostly poultry that walked around and expected their young to follow in a straight line, but that even THEY check occasionally.

It took many more minutes of conversation till they both agreed that children should be treated with a little more care. I was neither convinced that mother would change nor decided that I should go back on a daily basis to check up on the boy’s upbringing.

2018 and children are still being raised to the background tune of “Nja kukuba!”?

Yep – that phrase many people of past generations heard as they pranced around and frolicked: “Nija kuteera!/Nta kupiga!” and so on and so forth!

The offending mother, in this case, confessed to being 22 years of age and agreed that she didn’t know better. She couldn’t look me in the eye, out of what I hoped was shame but feared might be fear – which was why I had asked to speak with her elder friend, neighbour and possibly mother.

She was only raising her child the way she knew children were raised. By not being given too much attention for too long. By not being held by the hand at every step of the way. By not being repeatedly given emotional validation. By not getting any soft treatment when they make mistakes of any nature.

Because life is harsh and hard.

That cycle has to be broken – not by raising children who are spoilt and soft and won’t make a success of themselves in the harsh world. But by teaching them responsibility and the positive values that make us a positive people.

By stopping them from getting into harm’s way when they are young and tender, but teaching them how to survive should hard come to them when they are older.

used schoolbags from Japan? we aren’t really learning how to develop our country, are we?


Ashinaga

IF you missed this story last week, let’s go back a bit: ‘Japanese NGO complains about high taxes’.

The story says that this NGO, Ashinaga Uganda, “threatened to stop the importation of learning materials for children from Japan to Uganda, if the Government keeps imposing high taxes on the materials.”.

The Ashinaga Director, Yoshihiro Imamura, complained because this year they imported 400 schoolbags into Uganda and got charged Ushs17million in taxes for it.

Quick mathematics make that appear to be a tax of Ushs42,500 levied against each and every schoolbag.

I smiled when I read that because I’ve written on these very pages about a lady called Rose Nakitto, of Mulago, who makes schoolbags and rucksacks out of kitenge and other bits of cloth right here in Uganda. Her bags go for as little as Ushs35,000 each —> and the story is here again for your information: https://skaheru.com/2016/08/19/get-yourself-a-rose-nakitto-or-a-ricci-everyday-asap/.

In those articles about Rose Nakitto, I mentioned a Japanese business called ‘Ricci Everyday’ that does the EXACT OPPOSITE of this Ashinaga Uganda – they make bags IN Uganda and export them to Japan. Their bags are of a very good quality (they sell some in Uganda) and earn respectably large amounts of money for the Ugandan women who use their hands to make them.

So my sympathies for Ashinaga are zero for this particular element. According to their website they do quite a lot for orphans in different countries, which efforts started in Uganda.

Thank you, Ashinaga – don’t stop trying to do good.

But, in the process, let’s avoid the unhelpful bits and also look at ourselves as Ugandans and feel a little ashamed, while applauding the Uganda Revenue Authority for being so stringent with this tax collection.

They might have arguments backing them such as the need for a punitive tax to stop other countries using up our landfills instead of their own. Or that the Ushs17million will be used to set up factories for the manufacture of materials so that we export brand new schoolbags to export to Japan.

See, the Ashinaga explanation of what they are doing is that they collect used schoolbags from children in Japan and donate them to orphans here.

“The Japanese Ambassador to Uganda, Kazuaki Kameda, said bags in Japan were given to children as a congratulatory gift for admission into primary school,” reads the story.

That is a good tradition – and we must presume that those congratulatory gifts in Japan are brand new, ‘Made in Japan’ schoolbags and NOT second-hand ones imported from another country.

We already import second-hand cars made in Japan but mostly because we don’t manufacture them here (yet). But schoolbags? I won’t even go into what the possible costs are of collecting and loading and transporting these second-hand schoolbags is, compared to Rose Nakitto’s Ushs35,000.

And that’s why some of us have to feel shamed by this. Do we really lack 400 Ugandans who can’t buy schoolbags from Rose Nakitto and donate them to these orphans? At Ushs35,000 each, these schoolbags cost about as much as a higher-end buffet lunch or a couple of drinks at a snazzy Kampala ‘lounge’.

I know I can list 400 Ugandans whose daily fuel budget is the cost of this schoolbag – you know yourselves.

There must be 400 Ugandans, surely, who can each put a new schoolbag onto a boda-boda and send it to Nansana at an extra cost of Ushs10,000 – that’s the cost of a cheap bottle of whisky, a couple of cartons of water, a few kilos of sugar…

Let’s see – what would I choose between a programme called “the Japanese Schoolbags for Primary School Children in Uganda” in 2018 for 400 orphans in Uganda to receive second-hand bags across 365 days of the year and Ushs17million tax plus the opportunity to create a local schoolbag industry?

heed the call of the peacock!


IMG-8838

A FEW WEEKS ago as I arrived at the Pearl of Africa Hotel for the launch of ‘The Call Of The Peacock‘, I noted how gentle and professional the Special Forces Command officials were as they guided us into the celebration room.

They were markedly different from the soldiers I grew up dodging, and from the parking lot to the very entrance to the ballroom I kept thinking of the term ‘Customer Care’ and musing at how it could now be used in reference to some of the toughest soldiers on the Continent.

At the entrance, I burst into a laugh when a plainclothes officer politely asked, “Is Madame not coming?” as he inspected my card.

He knew neither “Madame” nor myself, since the card didn’t bear our actual names. But he was quite polite.

These were small signs of how things have changed in Uganda since the days in which Mahendra Mehta was born, or when his father first came to East Africa.

The bigger sign was the book launch itself. The car I drove into the hotel had five books in it – Trevor Noah’s ‘Born A Crime‘, Karen Bugingo’s ‘My Name Is Life‘, Rakesh Wahi’s ‘Be A Lion‘, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s ‘Kintu‘ and Rita Kenkwanzi’s ‘Kamwe, Kamwe, Nigwo Muganda…and other lessons from my father‘.

Three of those five books were Ugandan (I have claimed Karen because Rwanda and Uganda blah blah blah) so three out of five books were from home. Plus, it feels to me at if every week we attend or read or tweet about a book launch by a Ugandan.

That feeling makes me happy but is also unsettling a small personal challenge I created last year. See, on doing up my small home office or study space, I had a nice, solid bookshelf installed on the wall at a height designed to inspire me to fill it without braining myself often in excitement at any piece of literature.

One section of the bookshelf has been reserved for population with only books written by Ugandans or, I later decided, about Uganda.

I knew that wouldn’t be easy but I’ve been encouraging all the remarkable people I meet regardless of their vastness of age and breadth of experience to write books – swiftly brushing away any counter suggestions that I go first.

Waiting for the President to arrive and officiate at the launch, we got the opportunity to buy up our own copies and pester Mahendra Mehta to autograph them – which he graciously did.

Two gentlemen at my table told us that Mehta’s father, Nanji Kalidas Mehta, had written a book of his own about his life in Africa and India – ‘Dream Half Expressed: An Autobiography‘ – that inspired many to venture out and chase their dreams. The fellow enthusing about it said how the older Mehta fell in love with that Lugazi hill on his travels when he first saw it and swore he would one day buy it up and build a house there.

Mahendra’s book, as I read it right there in the ballroom, started for me at that very spot – the hill, the house, and the orderliness and beauty of the peacocks he brought there from Nairobi.

It is difficult to put ‘The Call Of The Peacock’ down if you are sensible. I only did so that night to walk round a little bit and was pleased to find, at the table next to Mahendra, Manu Chandaria – founder of Kenya-based Chandaria Industries.

We met in March this year when he graced the East African Business Council Anniversary ceremonies and spent the day with us at higher energy levels than most even though he was ill. He had just turned 89 and chided the rest of us for being so sedentary compared to him – which he called “the problem in East Africa”.

Age formed a large part of our discussion at the table after I read the part in the book where old man Mehta left India at age thirteen (13) and set sail for Africa, leaving behind a young wife.

The fact that a 13-year old could board a ship for another continent entirely, leave alone the idea that he had already started a family, made me resolve to buy each of my children a personal copy of this book so it would be easier for them to Uber across this city. When I told the family that my sixteen-year old was taking a job serving at a Cafe I met with protests.

Worse, I even have peers who can’t get onto a boda-boda round Kampala, they are so damn spoilt and lazy and complacent.

Mehta, however, made it across the ocean in a simple dhow and hopped from country to country till he got to Lugazi. Reading about his progress and hard work translates into the hard evidence we see in his sugar factory and other investments.

It makes sense because genuine, long-lasting wealth and success simply don’t happen overnight – and that’s another reason my children are each getting a copy of this book.

Our EmCee of the night, Patrick Zikusooka, was Senior General Manager with the Mehta Group where he has worked for 44 years – as long as I have been alive, and yet still serving steadfast in a manner many of our youth cannot possibly contemplate!

The celebrated publisher Ashok Chopra, at the event, described the book well as “immensely educative, informative and entertaining.”

Those three ingredients created an emotional recipe to pass on to generations to come regardless of race and origin. By Page 33, read that evening at the launch event itself, I was planning to bequeath copies to my as-yet-unborn grandchildren.

Apparently Mehta refused editorial guidance and structure because he insisted that this was HIS story and detailed HIS memoirs! Mind you, the book design and binding told its own story!

His son, when he took to the podium and reflected a young yet strikingly similar elderly figure of his father’s, wondered if the tradition of story telling his grandfather and father before him would continue in this age of television, internet and social media.

The books of the old men, he said, laid down the value foundations of their family – and that challenge faced him but, more importantly, face all of us in Uganda!

Reading this book reminded me why I like the culture of the Indians so much.

Jay, as he spoke, proved that even he had a book within him ready to be written, and brought to life at an hour respectfully removed from that of his father’s. He might not have known it, that night, but it was there in his speech just as it was suggested in the words of his grandfather and his father before him.

He expressed the same doubts about his fathers love for him that his own father wrote about HIS father before him, and made those of us who had arrived at that page in the book shake our heads.

President Museveni, when Jay recited excerpts from the book from memories of the 1980s, smiled widely and nodded his head as he recalled the very same events – and later in his speech re-affirmed them even though he hadn’t yet read the book.

The Call of the Peacock‘ is written evidence that Mahendra Mehta made a personal pledge to Uganda because of the kindness and trust of Ugandans – represented by the people selling vegetables by the roadside along Jinja Road who refused to take his money in spite of their destitution and misery, understanding that return of the Mehta’s would rebuild the economy.

THAT is the spirit of UGANDA! In a live sense from his actions and writings, WE are the Peacocks he speaks of, and we should be as proud of ourselves as Peacocks are of their feathers!

Nanjibhai Kalidas Mehta first came to Uganda in 1904 – earlier than some of our own grandfathers – and Mahendra Mehta has lived here 65 years. When Mahendra told the story of how he first met the Museveni’s at Nairobi airport by pestering them, the President and First Lady laughed at the memory.

From his story that night it was obvious that this old man had been keenly paying attention to politics and governance in Uganda and following closely everything that was being said by serious political leadership. He is one of those who uses political declarations to make wise business decisions – which is different from basing business on politics.

He only rejuvenated the Mehta Sugar Factory on January 25, 1988 after the government – particularly President Museveni himself as the supremo at the time – had promised there would be no bureaucratic delays.

Going back to age, Mahendra Mehta was barely in his twenties when he began to operate as a successful businessman – which should make us all think twice before we type out our next WhatsApp message, Facebook post or Tweet.

Read his book, everyone and think again about what YOU are doing about your life TODAY in relative peace, freedom and comfort.

That night, when the old man launched the US$1million Mehta Foundation focussing on disabilities and children’s health, we applauded with respect. Haters can talk, but the stories in the book and the actions of his father followed a logical flow to build up to this.

President Museveni launched the book with his usual conviviality tempered with Pan-African ideology and emphasizing the respect that many lack when they approach Indo-African relations.

“I found Indians at a Temple in London mourning about Amin kicking them out of Uganda and I told them to stop mourning because Amin only killed three (3) Asians and about 500,000 Ugandans!” he said.

“I also joked with them that the NRA/M went to the bush to fight but the only bush the Indians knew was Shepherd’s Bush!” he quipped, sending the room into the disarray we needed to get out of the deeply emotional state that Mahendra Mehta’s family story had evoked in all our minds.

The link between the Mehta’s and Uganda’s revolution is as clear in this book as it was in Museveni’s speech the night of its launch, as he recounted personal stories and confessed his appreciation of Mrs. Mehta’s bagiya.

At our table we laughed when one of us bumped into Henry Okello Oryem, Minister and Member of Parliament, who had found mention of his father in the book side-splitting. One time, when Mahendra had left the country for India during the unstable days of the 1980s, he sent his wife back home to look after things here. The day after she arrived a Colonel arrived with a note requesting her presence before General Tito Lutwa Okello himself.

She was suitably alarmed and fled the country then called her husband to complain about sending her into the lion’s den. He laughed. The General, he explained, was his friend and only seeking to make her comfortable at his behest.

The now-departed General’s son found this mirthful as his memories of his father were of the same kindly nature rather than the fearful reputation that caused Mrs. Mehta to flee in such fear.

This book TELLS one, REMINDS one, and TEACHES of A LOT!

Read it.

For Uganda.

It is ‘The Call Of The Peacock‘.

here are some of the opportunities that were in this year’s State of the Nation address #EconomicsUG


Museveni State of the Nation from www.dispatch.ug.jpg
Photo from http://www.dispatch.ug

OVER the years, I’ve picked up this highly useful fact from various successful Asian and Asian-Ugandan businessmen operating happily in Uganda: EVERY time there is a political or national event, they pay close attention to what the speech-makers are saying.

When it’s the President, they pay extra-special heed to the details of what he says and they thereafter follow up by making additional inquiries and investigations with the relevant offices.

One of them told me this as he was explaining why his father had invested in the first level of successful industry back in 1988, after two years of closely following this new NRM/A government all the way from London, in the United Kingdom. The young man himself was showing me round an investment project of his own that had built on his father’s success but fed off the plans the government kept announcing and dropping hints at.

That’s why, after last year’s End of Year address by the President to the Republic of Uganda, I wrote this – https://skaheru.com/2018/01/06/aligning-our-personal-objectives-with-our-national-ones/.

This week we listened to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni delivering another State of the Nation address – Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer’s report to the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

I listened carefully to the event, paying attention to possible opportunities that even the smallest-scale businessman, entrepreneur or speculator could take advantage of and plan for.

They stand out quite well – paragraph by paragraph – #OpportunityUG – and just in case you haven’t read it or seen them, here are the ones I suspect might be useful:

“…we now have tarmac roads to almost all the corners of Uganda: Nimule; Oraba; Musingo; Vurra; Lwakhakha soon; Malaba; Busia; Busuunga, beyond Bundibugyo; Mpondwe; Mutukula; Muroongo on the Kagyera river; Mirama hill; Katuna; Cyanika and Bunagana.  Radiating from Kampala, tarmac roads are now connecting all those points. The distance between Cyanika and Oraba is 1,048Kms (655miles), all of it connected by a tarmac road, from Kisoro district to Koboko…”

When a road is built with tarmac, the value of the land adjacent and in the towns that it connects tends to rise. If you check for the most recently built road you might find some land available either for sale or lease and snatch it up before its value rises.

Besides that, there are additional opportunities along such roads – such as establishing rest-stops, motels, shopping centres, fuel stations, and other enterprises that will take advantage of the increased traffic.

“farmers will use more irrigation. In the coming financial year, the Government will work on the following irrigation schemes using the government budget:

  • Doho phase II in Butalejja district;
  • Mubuku phase II in Kasese district;
  • Wadelai in Nebbi district;
  • Tochi in Oyam district;
  • Ngenge in Oyam district;
  • Atari (Bulambuli and Kween);
  • Katete in Kanungu district;
  • Kawumu in Luwero district;
  • Amagoro (Tororo district);
  • Nabigaga (Kamuli district);
  • Rwimi (Kasese and Kabarole district);
  • Nyimur (Lamwo);
  • Musamya (Kayunga);
  • Kibimba (Gomba);
  • Kabuyanda (Isingiro);
  • Matanda (Isingiro); and
  • Igogero-Naigombwa (Iganga and Bugiri).

In order to roll-out a global irrigation system for the whole country, we are encouraging industrialists to set up assembly or manufacturing plants for solar-powered water pumps. Some of these pumps and water conveyance systems, will be used in government funded irrigation schemes. Others, however, will be used by the farmers at their own cost. I encourage all the capable farmers to, at their own cost, go  into irrigation.

We shouldn’t need the President himself to “encourage capable farmers” to go into irrigation. If you were planning to go into farming or agriculture, go and check where these irrigation projects are and set up your own project right there. Check what the application processes are and go for those!

But besides the irrigation project itself, check what elements go into the irrigation and solar-powered water pump manufacturing and see if you can supply or manufacture one of those components.

At the very least, if you don’t plan to invest, go and find a quick course to do in irrigation and solar-powered systems so that when these factories set up here you are marginally more marketable than the person next to you.

“With the building of our phosphate fertilizer plant in Tororo, Uganda, which at 2.5kgs per hectare has one of the lowest rates of fertilizer use, will now stir itself up to use more fertilizers. We are looking for an additional investor to blend the phosphates with nitrogen and potassium in order to formulate NPK (Nitrogen, phosphates and potassium). With the use of NPK, production will go up by 30%.  With higher rates of agricultural growth, the overall rate of growth will go up.”

Fertilisers are going to be taken seriously next year? First of all, the factory in question is in Tororo – what will the logistics be like? Normally transport goes from Tororo to Kampala and then from there to the rest of the country – so how about investing in a route that goes from Tororo direct to Gulu via Lira and capturing all the farmers that side?

Also, there must be an opportunity in this fertiliser trade that you can explore by even studying mixes and becoming an expert or consultant in its application and use – therefore turning all the farmers seeking fertilisers into your direct clients while also taking on the Fertiliser Plant itself.

I would like to single-out the sector of construction.  This grew by 12.5% annually. This is not surprising given the respective efforts of the government and the private sector in the areas of road and houses construction.”

The construction sector is growing by 12.5% annually? What will happen this coming year? Can we go for something there as well? Even if it’s not investing in hardware, is there a component that we can replace with something cheaper and yet equally efficient? What about the real estate brokers dealing in this growing sector – can we find better methods and corner the market?

The opportunities in construction are myriad, as it were, mushrooming each day the way apartment blocks do. Think of gardening and landscaping, and interior decoration, and auxiliary products and services.

If you have no investment capital to set up something big, how about teaming up with some pals and forming a cleaning service targeting just one set of these apartment blocks that keep cropping up…? That list goes on and on and on.

“I told you how rich Ugandans and other Africans are, already. In the case of Uganda, we spend about US dollars 7 billion a year in terms of imports. Importing what? Importing the shoes, clothes, carpets, textiles, furniture units, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipments, perfumes, soaps, wines, cars, pikipikis (motorcycles), etc etc…

We import so much? How about finding some of these items and their value, then picking up local ones and improving their quality even post-manufacture and then doing some import replacement?

That might now work for the perfumes, but even nonsense like second-hand clothing could provide an opportunity. A t-shirt with the Macdonalds logo on it could be spruced up with some kitenge bits to replace Maconalds and go for a neat margin well over and above the opened-bale price.

4,525 girls have already been assisted to engage in: knitting, shoe-making, weaving, tailoring, bakery and embroidery, while 6 groups have been assisted in furniture-making and 10 in welding.

Great opportunity there! Where are all these girls? Are they employed somewhere and each running their own business? If not, how about getting the list of the very best of them and investing in an outfit that will employ their services, skills and talents?

A handful of these girls could actually implement that little idea above of getting second-hand t-shirts and refitting them so they are fresh, Ugandan designs.

They even studied baking? If you take the marketing component and find a friend to handle packaging, you can be rolling in sweet money within a very short time of embarking on a project with these girls!

In the coming days, the Minister of Finance will announce the financial support we intend to give to the groups that wish to join the manufacturing in the form of the enhanced micro-finance efforts and the Innovation in addition to the Women Fund, the Youth Fund and Operation Wealth Creation Fund.

The ‘coming days’ that H.E. the President was referring to is the June 14 Reading of the National Budget.

If you don’t pay attention as THAT is being presented, and only focus on political statements (by yourself as well as by the politicians) please don’t blame anyone for your despondency thereafter.

let’s #BeatPlasticPollution – and justify our so-called wealth and education


AHEAD of the World Environment Day celebrations this Tuesday I found myself in Masaka last weekend along the route of the Uganda Marathon playing the part of sponsor representative while working up sweat.

The Uganda Marathon is so-called because it doesn’t attract the very same crowd as the MTN Kampala Marathon.

Try not to get dizzy as you read this, because we will be on Mars at some point. In fact, have a bottle of water handy.

The organisers – the Masaka Marathon – are the same people who signed up a partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to collect plastic waste from around Masaka to deliver it to the Plastic Recycling Industries plant in Kampala.

They registered their organisation as the Masaka Marathon because of their interest in running and have a surprisingly vibrant running club in Masaka. Besides that, though, they worked out that running is so popular that there are millions of people out there willing to come to Uganda to run and do more besides.

Hence the Uganda Marathon, which only forms one part of a long tour to Uganda that includes seeing gorillas, chimpanzees and other animals, rafting on the River Nile, and doing some volunteer work for charitable organisations.

People like me who simply drove over from Kampala paid just a few thousand shillings – if any – to take part in the marathon run itself. After that we drove back to live our normal lives.

But some of the people who take part in this Uganda Marathon pay hefty sums of money to come in from far-off countries and take part in the event while enjoying the tourism and life experiences here.

Among the voluntary tasks they performed were the collection of plastic bottles from within Masaka. At one point along the route I saw a young person from Britain actually going along and collecting water bottles that runners had discarded.

The plan, in general, was for the Masaka Collection Centre to collect the used bottles we had contributed and deliver them to Plastic Recycling Industries. They certainly did so but it bugged me that to a casual onlooker it appeared as if Ugandans were dropping bottles for foreigners to come and pick up for us.

That led me to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day – “Beat Plastic Pollution”. It was chosen by this year’s host country, India, for good reason.

Plastic Pollution is a global problem that is only getting worse because of how much plastic we use in packaging all the stuff we keep buying (and, in our case, importing). For us in Uganda the focus is normally on the bottles we take our sodas, juices and water in, that end up in the drainage channels.

Companies like the one I work for tend to step up and take responsibility because they feel it is the right thing to do. But WE Ugandans need to discuss our personal bad habits, terrible behaviour and the dismal culture we have developed.

Why do some Ugandans think it is alright to drive a four-wheel drive vehicle over hundreds of kilometres, stocked with drinks and then occasionally press a button to lower the window so they can toss an empty bottle onto the ground?

A person who can afford to drive that car with the air conditioning on full-time and buy drinks for the journey should surely have the brain power to see that this is wrong?

Dropped Plastic.png

How come that in our Universities – institutions of higher “learning” – we don’t have waste separation with some bins taking organic waste, others for paper and others yet for plastic? In 2018 where there is a man actually putting cars and other machinery onto the Planet Mars, we have University students and professors who can’t keep two bins side-by-side and differentiate between two types of rubbish?

The questions can flow in hundreds without comfortable answers – but YOU should stop and think about your waste disposal situation, considering that YOU can read and comprehend the language this is written in.

Two months ago my eight-year old stopped all conversation at home to raise a major objection.

“Remember the project homework we did about the environment?” she asked, quite upset.

I did.

“Remember we said people should not cut trees…?”

I did.

“Today at school we found they had cut the trees near the gate!” she protested.

I was happy. Her education is working. I told her to raise it with the Headmaster, and she did. So her education is really working well. And her Headmaster explained why the trees had to be trimmed – not cut down. That pleased me even more, because it meant I didn’t have to suddenly change schools.

We should stop focussing these major days and awareness campaigns solely on adults – because we might be a lost cause if all the education and experience and wealth we’ve gathered has failed to make us do simple things like dispose of rubbish properly.

Instead, perhaps we should target the children and get them to develop the right habits to shape their behaviour and create a culture that will secure the future of this nation and the world. That will not be a waste.