Thursday, July 8, 2010

New broom, sweep clean(ish)

Bounding out of bed on my first free Saturday, ready to hit the highway and explore beyond the bounds of Fajara town I was thwarted by a national initiative known as ‘Setsetal’.

As mandated by HE, The President, the last Saturday of every month is national clean-your-compound-and-neighbourhood day. Actually it’s just from 9am to 1pm, but is religiously observed by the 1.5-million-strong population.

I think it’s actually a good excuse for a lie-in and for businesses to open for a half-day only. Major emergency? Need a taxi? You’d be lucky.

When the world finally emerged from its sweeping frenzy, I left Safari Garden expecting to be dazzled by a Singaporean-like veneer of fastidious tidiness – no more rotting mangoes on the street corner or stray plastic bags blowing by, but it all looked pretty much the same as the night before.

My local friends tell me that people do make an effort at home but I guess that if street cleaners can’t get taxis to get to work to pick up their brooms then there is going to be a missing link in the clean-up chain.

I think the Dubai government should implement the same thing, for all sectors of society, and have a task force conducting random checks of local neighbourhoods. Free brooms for all!

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