Page 17 - Print Version volume 21 number 1070
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Fortune Vol. 21 No. 1070 Nov. 1, 2020                                                                                                                                                Page 17                   Page 17

   A noticeable trend is that cleanliness is closely connected with being a hard worker. Attention to
    detail, persistence in carrying out tasks, and clarity of mind that allows for perceptiveness seem
    to be necessary, having consequences on the fight against lack of hygiene in households as well
   as the streets, writes Tadesse Tsegaye (, a polyglot with experience in

                       multicultural-cum-institutional settings in resources management.

Hygiene: Culture of Hard Workers

Agood friend of mine has an                   presents it to her family and guests         that allows perceptiveness seem to be        masks.                                       all sorts of microbials.
        Italian restaurant. If for some       startle me.                                  necessary. It is a behavioural mode
        reason her employees leave                                                         that informs how we carry out most           Unfortunately, this laudable trend is        Unwelcoming scenes from dry waste,
        her, all of them including the        Just as impressive is the attentiveness      of our tasks.                                broken when it comes to our waste            oozing with plastic bottles, food waste
concierge are in high demand. Her             with which she leaves everything clean                                                    collection. Separation of waste looks as     and sticky liquids is not unique to
dedication to the work – her continuous       and orderly, as though nothing had           This is true of our choice in home and       though it is a luxury everyone ill affords.  Addis Abeba. It is a sight that could
visibility in the restaurant’s active hours,  happened. In fact, this near obsessive       pressingly in our work environments.         It is not on the radar of households         be avoided in part by the simple act of
insistence on high standards – is             compulsion with cleaning and order           In actual fact, the routine is work          and businesses that waste should be          waste sorting.
somewhat legendary, and it has rubbed         makes her too demanding, resulting in        itself. For others, the monotony may be      separated between renewables and
off on her employees.                         a high turnover of domestic workers in       unbearable; but for a few, it is a training  non-renewables. Worse enough, there          Our struggle against COVID-19 is as
                                              her household. It is a continuous firing     format that becomes a daily obsession.       does not seem to be much effort to           strong as our weakest link. The waste
But nothing is as evident to anyone           and hiring, a ceaseless search for the                                                    create awareness about this, nor even        bag collecting spots are, if not the only
who walks into the restaurant as the          right person month in, month out,            The fact that this does not happen often     to recognise it as a problem.                point, an important one where a lot
currency put into cleanliness. It is a        without any end in sight.                    is clear all across our streets. Just last                                                of vigilance is necessary. In any work
culture that involves making cleaning                                                      week, I tooled around Arada. One thing       Not only from the perspective of the Novel   setting, minimum on-the-job training or
part of the staff’s daily routine to          A noticeable trend here is that cleanliness  I was so amazed by was the use of face       Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it          work-related instruction that prepares
ensure that surfaces, equipment,              is closely connected with hard work.         masks. Men and women while walking,          is absolutely unacceptable to see those      workers to perform such tasks with
waste and the premises are clean,             Attention to detail, persistence in          in the transport queues and travelling       employed in waste collection forage          respect to waste collection is necessary.
hygienic and clutter-free. Government         carrying out tasks, and clarity of mind      inside vehicles are consistently wearing     through a rubbish spot teeming with
health inspectors sudden visits to                                                                                                                                                   This includes instructions mandated by
the restaurant are very welcome and                                                                                                                                                  law to ensure that the setting’s staff are
eagerly awaited.                                                                                                                                                                     instructed and notified concerning the
                                                                                                                                                                                     hazards of their respective occupations
I have another friend as well, this one                                                                                                                                              and the precautions necessary to avoid
without a restaurant but a kitchen                                                                                                                                                   accidents and injuries to their health.
and time well spent studying the art of
cuisine. Her proficiency of handling                                                                                                                                                 What then is the purpose of keeping our
food both on and off fire, detailed                                                                                                                                                  kitchens clean or sanitising our homes
familiarity with food’s pillar ingredients,                                                                                                                                          if the streets and neighbourhoods are
the ease and energy with which she                                                                                                                                                   left to their own fate?
handles kitchen work with a palpable
presence to a large number of people is                                                                                                                 This takes a concerted effort to create
not only amazing. This passion for food                                                                                                                 widespread awareness. It takes having to
preparation is reflected in the flavour of                                                                                                              converse with those close to us beyond
the food she makes as well.                                                                                                                             the TV ads and radio announcements. It
                                                                                                                                                        has to be with members of our family,
An early riser, the speed with which                                                                                                                    employees and neighbours to help them
she handles slow-motion gourmet                                                                                                                         have the attitude to keep, so to speak,
Ethiopian cooking and the way she                                                                                                                       their kitchens clean. There needs to be
                                                                                                                                                        an understanding that hygiene is more
                                                                                                                                                        than a task.
                                                                                                                                                CITY LIFE
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