Editorial | Feb 09,2019
A good friend of mine has an Italian restaurant. If for some reason her employees leave her, all of them including the concierge are in high demand. Her dedication to the work – her continuous visibility in the restaurant’s active hours, insistence on high standards – is somewhat legendary, and it has rubbed off on her employees.
But nothing is as evident to anyone who walks into the restaurant as the currency put into cleanliness. It is a culture that involves making cleaning part of the staff’s daily routine to ensure that surfaces, equipment, waste and the premises are clean, hygienic and clutter-free. Government health inspectors sudden visits to the restaurant are very welcome and eagerly awaited.
I have another friend as well, this one without a restaurant but a kitchen and time well spent studying the art of cuisine. Her proficiency of handling food both on and off fire, detailed familiarity with food’s pillar ingredients, the ease and energy with which she handles kitchen work with a palpable presence to a large number of people is not only amazing. This passion for food preparation is reflected in the flavour of the food she makes as well.
An early riser, the speed with which she handles slow-motion gourmet Ethiopian cooking and the way she presents it to her family and guests startle me.
Just as impressive is the attentiveness with which she leaves everything clean and orderly, as though nothing had happened. In fact, this near obsessive compulsion with cleaning and order makes her too demanding, resulting in a high turnover of domestic workers in her household. It is a continuous firing and hiring, a ceaseless search for the right person month in, month out, without any end in sight.
A noticeable trend here is that cleanliness is closely connected with hard work. Attention to detail, persistence in carrying out tasks, and clarity of mind that allows perceptiveness seem to be necessary. It is a behavioural mode that informs how we carry out most of our tasks.
This is true of our choice in home and pressingly in our work environments. In actual fact, the routine is work itself. For others, the monotony may be unbearable; but for a few, it is a training format that becomes a daily obsession.
The fact that this does not happen often is clear all across our streets. Just last week, I tooled around Arada. One thing I was so amazed by was the use of face masks. Men and women while walking, in the transport queues and travelling inside vehicles are consistently wearing masks.
Unfortunately, this laudable trend is broken when it comes to our waste collection. Separation of waste looks as though it is a luxury everyone ill affords. It is not on the radar of households and businesses that waste should be separated between renewables and non-renewables. Worse enough, there does not seem to be much effort to create awareness about this, nor even to recognise it as a problem.
Not only from the perspective of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is absolutely unacceptable to see those employed in waste collection forage through a rubbish spot teeming with all sorts of microbials.
Unwelcoming scenes from dry waste, oozing with plastic bottles, food waste and sticky liquids is not unique to Addis Abeba. It is a sight that could be avoided in part by the simple act of waste sorting.
Our struggle against COVID-19 is as strong as our weakest link. The waste bag collecting spots are, if not the only point, an important one where a lot of vigilance is necessary. In any work setting, minimum on-the-job training or work-related instruction that prepares workers to perform such tasks with respect to waste collection is necessary.
This includes instructions mandated by law to ensure that the setting’s staff are instructed and notified concerning the hazards of their respective occupations and the precautions necessary to avoid accidents and injuries to their health.
What then is the purpose of keeping our kitchens clean or sanitising our homes if the streets and neighbourhoods are left to their own fate?
This takes a concerted effort to create widespread awareness. It takes having to converse with those close to us beyond the TV ads and radio announcements. It has to be with members of our family, employees and neighbours to help them have the attitude to keep, so to speak, their kitchens clean. There needs to be an understanding that hygiene is more than a task.
PUBLISHED ON Oct 31,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1070]
Editorial | Feb 09,2019
Fortune News | Apr 10,2021
Fortune News | Jan 12,2019
Featured | Dec 19,2018
Editorial | Nov 14,2020
Fortune News | Jun 19,2021
My Opinion | Jul 13,2019
Sunday with Eden | Aug 17,2019
Life Matters | Dec 29,2018
Agenda | Jan 25,2020
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Recent headlines seem to augur a global debt crisis. The United States is teetering on the precipice of a self-inflicted default. Egypt,...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
May 27 , 2023
Tauted as a somnolent giant, Ethiopia's financial scene now stirs, roused by favourab...
May 20 , 2023
The pungent irony wafting from Pretoria last week was hard to miss. Cyril Ramaphosa,...
May 13 , 2023
In March this year, Kamala Harris, the United States Vice President, visited Ghana, T...
May 6 , 2023
The history of the Ethiopian labour movement dates back to the 1940s, marked by perio...
Or see contact page