There is a particularly busy street in my neighbourhood with a cinema, a hotel and a couple of drinking bars. The owners make their profits as they attract many customers, some of them hoodlums.
Many a time, people leaving early to or returning late from work have been accosted and robbed by these hoodlums under the cover of darkness. I add ‘darkness’ because there are no streetlights except along the major road in my community and as you turn off the major road into any of the streets, you practically walk in ‘the valley of the shadow of darkness’.
Electricity supply is not exactly irregular but the residents conserve it inside their homes, so to speak. Thus, the streets, the front of the gate of the houses, within the compounds, everywhere but inside the rooms, are mired in darkness.
We have been waiting for the Government to help us fix some lights – a few at least – in every street in the neighbourhood. Along with fixing them, there also has to be electricity supply to power those lights and even if electricity is tapped from a main source, an electric generator or a solar energy panel also has to be installed for the many nights when there is no electricity supply from the mains. Add to that, the technical staff needed to maintain these facilities and we are talking about a semi – big project here. More people are getting robbed, injured and traumatised by these hoodlums and here we are, still are waiting for the Government.
As it is, almost every house in the neighbourhood have got a mini-sized generator that can, at least, power the light bulbs and electronic equipments in their rooms, when there is no electricity supply from the mains.
So we came up with this: each house should get a Technician to run the cables and fix up light fittings in the compounds and along the fences, outside the houses, especially close to their gates. And if you already have light fittings in these areas, get them working again by replacing the bulbs or some cables.
Many houses complied with this initiative. The neighbourhood is not yet like a ‘crystal palace’ at night; the hoodlums still visit the bars to ‘down’ drinks. But, the rate of opportune theft has reduced. Darkness, which created the opportunity for such robberies in the neighbourhood, is being chased out by the lit streets via the light bulbs on the fences and the hoodlums have fewer places to hide and lay in wait for unsuspecting residents.
To conclude, I want to say that before we complain about what the Government or others are not doing well, let us stop and ask ourselves ‘what am I doing to better the situation?’ Or ‘what can I do?’ and go on to do it, go on to make that small change while waiting for the big change to happen. In the final analysis, you will realise that the sum of those seemingly small changes is equal to that big change.