Recently Kicukiro District authorities said enough is enough. Having given ample time to owners of restaurants, motels and lodges to clean up their premises and make them hygienically acceptable, they decided to close those that had failed to abide by public health requirements.
This is as it should be. Apropos, yesterday was Global Hand washing Day, a day that was set aside by the United Nations to galvanise millions across the world to mind our hygiene and save lives by the simple matter of washing hands with soap, especially before having a meal, and after visiting the toilet.
There is no shortage of examples to give where lives have been and can still be saved by setting and maintaining simple hygienic practices.
Common diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and dysentery, are all related to sanitary practices or the lack of it thereof; and so we can eliminate morbidity rates from such diseases by up to 50 percent if only we were committed to cleanliness. Besides, prevention, as they say, is better than cure.
In a city that has built a name internationally for its cleanliness, it would be imprudent therefore to keep up with unhygienic restaurants - with flies buzzing and a grubby environment that just begs disease to come and enter our bodies.
Kigali City, which has just won an award from Habitat, should not put up with lousy service, and dirty eateries to boot.
Most alarming also are the many proliferating lodges in such places like Biryogo, Giporoso and other low cost housing estates.
These lodging houses are not only seamy; they are also dubious in the types of clients they host, like students in the company of older companions.
District authorities are advised to regulate the work of these lodges and not only look for dirty rooms and linen, as the diseases contracted therein might be more serious than the cleanliness-related ones, not to mention the bigger picture of morality.