Coming straight from Europe I hadn’t really noticed it at first. Apparently I had so gotten used again to clean streets, that it seemed normal for the streets of Ouagadougou to be clean too.
And if it weren’t for Yves mentioning that Ouagadougou had won the title of cleanest city in Africa I may not even have noticed it until arriving in a less clean place. However, when he did, I looked around, instantly realizing there were no plastic bags flying around, no garbage on the sides of the streets and no smelly piles of rubbish. Giving it another look I got actually impressed. So close to Mali and yet so different in so many ways.
‘Every month the mayor pays the widows of Ouagadougou’, Yves explains ‘and all they have to do to get the money is make sure that the streets are cleaned every day.’
There is no social security in a lot of African countries. Whereas the family needs to take care of widows and their children in Mali, Ouagadougou’s mayor found a way that meets both the needs of the city and the widows and their children.
Some solutions are simple as well as brilliant!