A Lucky Charm

“I am grateful to the municipality for this garbage bin. It keeps the flies away and brings more customers my way. It’s my lucky
“I am grateful to the municipality for this garbage bin. It keeps the flies away and brings more customers my way. It’s my lucky charm.” — Haji Abdulrahim, fruit juice seller, Lashkar Gah
USAID/RAMP UP SOUTH
A municipal garbage bin brings more customers to a fruit juice seller on a street corner in Lashkar Gah
13 NOVEMBER 2011 | HILMAND, AFGHANISTAN
 
Every morning, Haji Abdulrahim sets up his hand-operated juicer machine at his usual spot on a street corner in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Hilmand Province. With a broad smile on his bearded face, he sells fresh juice to shopkeepers and buyers in the neighborhood. Today, sitting next to his plastic chair and fruit rack is a big blue garbage bin – a gift from the municipality that he says brings him good luck.
 
Last month, with the help of USAID, the municipality of Lashkar Gah launched a clean city campaign, distributing 3,500 garbage bins among shopkeepers and households along the busiest streets in town as part of USAID’s larger initiative to improve municipal service delivery to citizens in southern Afghanistan
 
"Now, people dispose of their garbage not in the street, but in the blue bins. Then trucks come to empty the bins, and we don’t have to worry what to do with our garbage," said another vendor.
 
Without the bin, Abdulrahim had to leave his juicer unattended every hour or so to look for a spot to dispose of the fruit peelings. The waste also attracted flies and drove away customers. Now, this father of seven earns up to 400 Afghanis daily ($9.00), double the amount of what he used to earn before he was given the garbage bin.
 
Sitting comfortably beside his goods, Abdulrahim notes happily that there are no longer flies hovering over his fruits. ―Not that I miss them,‖ he laughs while rapping gently on the blue plastic bin.

Last updated: January 07, 2014

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