The district commissioner here, Halima Dendego, has announced plans by the local government to undertake an improvement on the current public cleanliness exercise in Tanga popularly known as “Kalembo Day,” conducted every first Saturday of the month to ensure that it does not become a nuisance to businessmen.
Announcing plans at the first inaugural meeting of the Tanga District Business Council (TDBC), Dendego said that under the new plans to be effective starting next year, businesses would not be closed on ‘Kalembo Day’ as it was the case in the past.
Closure of businesses has caused quite a stir and has been a nuisance to businessmen who have complained of losing profits through the exercise. Contributing to a general discussion on the state of business in Tanga City, a member of the council, Sadik Shembilu, said people were not treating the day with mockery, with businessmen closing businesses as usual but staying inside their houses without doing any kind of cleanliness.
“It does not serve the original purpose of cleaning the city. We thank authorities for establishing the cleanliness drive but I think we should change our tactics,” said Shembilu.
He suggested the use of youth brigades to clean many areas using payments from households instead of using the current system.
The district commissioner said that the city would be divided into zones where cleaning would be done by different sectors of the society.
“The first zone would be where the city council is able to conduct cleanliness without any problem. The second zone would be left to the private sector and would include a plan to establish youth groups to do the cleanliness for a fee,” Dendego pointed out.
She said the other zone would involve areas where the public would do cleanliness collectively (msalagambo).
“Cleanliness in Tanga would be a 24-hour affair and the health department is expected to take charge of the situation to ensure that everybody takes part in the exercise.
Meanwhile, a health department official, Joseph Mbati, said that registration of youth groups to undertake cleaning tenders has already started and eight groups have already been registered.