Coming from a place where we do not hesitate to throw away things that are old, defect or broken, it has been eye-opening to find that in Sudan people will continue to use things until they are on their last legs and often totally past it. We have so much disposable income in the West that we don’t think twice about buying new things, but as a consequence are producing a lot of waste.
In Khartoum, the public buses and even private taxis are ancient, with loose seats, holes in the floor and doors falling off. Windshields are cracked, wires stick out of the dashboard and diesel fumes suffocate the passengers. And this is just one example.
Although the Sudanese government does in fact have the money and resources to change things around, the corruption means that it is not being applied in a way that would benefit the population. This is beyond frustrating, as Khartoum would have so much potential if it was simply cleaned up and organised a bit better.
Contemplating my European residence of Berlin, I am disgusted to think that the city remains run down in areas when the German government has the capacity to turn this around in an instant. Furthermore the city’s inhabitants celebrate Berlin’s grungy, dirty image. I was never a fan of this to begin with and am now even less: it seems ridiculous to be this way out of choice.