After one week of ignoring the demands of Yemen’s street cleaners, Prime Minster Basindawa announced that he would go into the street and clean with the cleaners. The question is why are these positive actions coming so late?
After the second round of strikes by the street cleaners, they have proven that they are a vital part of the community and that the functioning of cities depend on them. Fuel shortages, electricity problems, strike here or there can be postponed, but as the last weeks have shown, the street cleaner’s strike cannot.
Street cleaners are classified the lowest group in the community and are marginalized in life, as well as in their payment. In February, they became fed up and striked. Sana’a’s streets filled with garbage and the brought stench and disease. They were initially promised to be officially hired and be given better payment, the new government did not respect their promise and the street cleaners striked again. Thus, bringing landfills back to the streets of Sana’a with officials lagging to end the weeklong strike.
Whether it’s politics or demand of rights, these group should given more attention by the government, because they are paid by the public through bills like water, electricity, phone calls and other service facilities.
Their demands are reasonable as what they are requesting is not much, and pales in the comparisons of the expenses of government officials. Their request is definitely worth cities that don’t smell and fester with diseases that may force people to pay more in the hospitals.
What people want from their new government is to begin improving the country so that people can finally feel change they have long waited for. Solving the street cleaners strike would be a good place to start with the little improvement of security and electricity services.
I wish and everybody wish to see a good and clean city by the begging of this week, and the government promises should not be like before.