Defacing state utilities

Muna Al Fuzai

Many people in Kuwait do not care about protecting state utilities. They think these belong to them and they can do whatever they want, even breaking and damaging them. This ill behavior has to stop.


Because of the imbalance in the demographic structure and the presence of residents of a multitude of nationalities, some are not aware of the importance of preserving the environment or general hygiene. It is normal to find public utilities on the beachside, for example, full of dirt, especially after weekends, or even cinemas after the end of the show, where you can see food remnants strewn on the ground in a disgusting way.


We can all see destruction of public recreational facilities like gardens and vandalism of toilets – even the theft of some of their contents and wastage of water, yet nothing is done to stop these acts. I had a neighbor in Shamiya whose maid used to waste a lot of water to wash one car or the front yard of the house.


But the owner of the house seemed to get angry when I advised him not to waste too much water on a small yard. I even tried to speak to the maid, but her answer was: “My sponsor never says a thing, so why do you?” She is right, because both are careless about the importance of preserving the environment – especially the sponsor. He is the one who should care because he pays the bills – or maybe not!


It is regrettable that garbage containers are often in a bad condition – smelly and dirty. Garbage containers are also not separated by the type of waste – plastic, metal, paper, etc. The state allocates a garbage bin to each household. Garbage trucks arrive in the morning and the garbage is removed. But rubbish that is dumped on the ground is due to a cultural issue and ethics of residents. In our situation, maids are often not guided on the right behavior by their sponsors, so such outcomes are expected.


Another example is the throwing of waste on the street, which in addition to being an uncivilized act, is a violation of public utilities, because the street is public property that shouldn’t be defiled. Throwing garbage from cars on streets or throwing it in public places and gardens is proof of ignorance, lack of respect and absence of fear of the law and punishment. This behavior can be confronted only by applying strict laws, such as traffic laws and large fines to force everyone to behave well.


I recall a comment of a young man who was throwing waste and food on the road. When asked why he was doing such a thing, he said there are cleaners who get paid to pick trash, so I am giving them work to do! Another example is when you see young women throwing garbage bags from their cars on the street without any sense of shame.


I hope to see judicial control given to the municipality by assigning some of its staff to observe people who do such things and hand them a fine. The penalties should range from warnings to large monetary penalties. Maybe then, the message will be received and we can see some change.


By Muna Al-Fuzai, Staff Columnist

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