Operation Lap Sap

Lap Sap
垃圾, which means rubbish in Cantonese.

As far as I know, there is no public rubbish collection service here in Lilongwe. The type that involve dump trucks cruising round your neighbourhood at very early hours of the morning, operated by the local council. So unfortunately, there tends to be quite a lot of rubbish scattered around because there is just no where to dispose of them. Other than digging holes in the ground yourself, which is very low priority here.

So a couple of Sundays ago, I had the kids from my neighbourhood go round and pick up rubbish in our vicinity. It was more of an educational exercise as opposed to an actual mass clean up.

I bribed (read: motivated) them with sweets to get them started. Showed them what I wanted, which was picking up all the nasty rubbish items (plastics, rusty tins, broken glass, the ubiquitous plastic bag remnants etc.). Their reward was a “yogie” each (local yoghurt drink; rather nice).

Their incentive for keeping the neighbourhood clean was a football and smaller sponge/stress ball (which they love to play catch with, courtesy of my previous employer – DB), which I would take back if the neighbourhood became rubbish ridden again. So far, the regime seems to be working!

P.S. This is the first photo of me looking like a “freshy” after I had my shortest haircut ever – Grade 4 all over.

Rubbish, kids and a "freshy" / FOB Chinaman

Rubbish, kids and a “freshy” / FOB Chinaman

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Operation Lap Sap

  1. Well Done Herman, that’s a fab idea 🙂 should maybe try it myself…


  2. I agree, a fantastic idea. We don’t have rubbish collections either as far as I can tell… but most of the rubbish seems to get mixed up in the open drains which run down the sides of the roads. How would you tackle that one? 🙂


  3. Peter

    Cunning Herman, cunning.
    As for the drains, grass rakes?


  4. Pingback: WOTD: Zinyalala | Herman is Out of the Office

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