Most unfortunately, it is normally these “little” things that have managed to paint very ugly pictures of countries because believe it or not, it is such elements that people first look at to get the bigger picture.
It has become more of a norm every rainy season in Zimbabwe (especially since the collapse of the service sector due to the economic meltdown) to have large unkempt grass all over the cities.
Besides this portraying cities suffering from neglect, the long grass along the country`s roads pose serious danger for motorists.
Anyone well-versed on the rules of the road will tell you that sight distance is a definite key factor for the safe and efficient operation of any vehicle.
The knee-high grass and weeds raise serious visibility concerns on our roads as they block the sight distance, affecting the ability of the drivers to spot other vehicles or any other objects on the roads, especially at busy intersections.
With the long grass, drivers cannot see other vehicles approaching and this has in a number of cases proved detrimental. The situation gets worse when driving during the night.
Situations that disturb the ability of the driver to see properly not only put the motorists at risk but compromises the safety of all road users.
The long grass has also made some spots highly unsafe as they have been known to be a major breeding ground for muggers.
Another issue that has raised concern is to whom you would report when someone in your neighbourhood chooses not to cut the overgrown grass on their properties.
The weeds from a neighbour’s yard have the tendency to invade the surroundings and are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Some people have suggested that property owners who keep uncut grass be fined the same way one would be issued with a parking or speeding ticket.
It would then be the city councils` duty to make sure that enforcement officers are in place so that conditions are complied with.
The worst thing would be for the city councils to just sit back and let this continue as it is such issues that can easily ruin the appearance of any neighbourhood and indeed the whole country, not to mention posing the threat of many a road accident.
The clear neglect had especially angered those residents that reside in affluent suburbs who have invested a lot of money in their homes and would want their neighbourhoods to be neat.
Instead of comely trees and beautiful plants, all we see along our roads is the grass and weeds with the responsible authorities visibly failing to devise a workable plan to care for the streetscape.
This has resulted in most people wondering what exactly it is that the council is doing as it is evidently failing to deliver services.
Is it because our city councils do not have the money to cut grass, which is long overdue owing to the wet weather, or is it that this problem is considered too trivial to warrant immediate attention?
What has also become apparent is that for one reason or another, the people of Zimbabwe generally have low expectations as most do not complain, choosing instead to suffer in silence.
As a result the responsible authorities are not in the slightest hurry to do what should have been done ages ago, something that is bound to see our standards deteriorating even further.
Thank heavens the problem of overgrown grass is only seasonal!
The truth of the matter is that, besides ruining what used to be and could still be a beautiful environment, the country`s appearance is hurting its appeal and its potential to attract new investment.
Instead of driving through beautiful trees and plants, all our visitors seem to be getting is grass and more grass, and it gets longer by the mile!
Given such a scenario, it would really be hard for any visiting foreigner to see the country for the beautiful nation with so much potential that it is.
Overgrown weeds and grass certainly do not signal potential, what they instead do is shout NEGLECT! And nobody would really want to invest much, if anything, in such an environment.
And in an attempt to come closer to home: a house or venue with a well manicured lawn and beautiful flowers is always a pleasure to visit as you feel you could stay there forever.
This is in total contrast to a shabby one with uncut grass and an abundance of weeds where you are bound to wary of your safety lest it is a breeding ground for poisonous snakes!
It is about time that we started caring and taking care of the “little” things if we are ever going to realise our potential, and that starts with you and me, right in our homes.
Maybe then our city councils can finally read the writing on the wall.