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Sanitation condition hampers Monrovia

By Augustine Myers
One of such streets  Monrovia sometimes used as dump site
One of such streets Monrovia sometimes used as dump site

( of the Liberian Capital, Monrovia, have described the sanitary condition of the capital as “Harmful, appalling, unhealthy and worrisome.”

The sanitary condition of the city and its surroundings is becoming an issue that needs the urgent attention of relevant agencies of government, especially the Monrovia City Corporation, (MCC).

MCC has the constitutional mandate to always keep Monrovia clean and “Green”, so that the city’s sanitary condition meets international standards.

“Several parts and surroundings are filthy with no sign of efforts shown to remove the stockpile of garbage that has taken over Monrovia,” the residents emphasized.

A case in point is the Waterside General Market around the Johansson Street area. The area is one of the neighborhoods strongly hit by the poor sanitary situation, due to delay by the contractor, Zoom Lion, to remove the garbage at the site.

The garbage has blocked the main drainage connecting to the Atlantic Ocean, thus creating flooding on the main street leading to the Mamba Point diplomatic enclave whenever there is a heavy down pore.

According to some vehicle drivers plying the route, the pile of dirt in the area has obstructed the free flow of traffic and pedestrians movement in the area.

The drivers said: “Due to the huge pile of garbage, we launched a personal initiative, a month ago, to clean sewage line connecting the main drainage in the Johansson area to the Atlantic Ocean.”

“A little over eight thousand Liberian Dollars was used to clean up the drainage. Our effort brought some form of relief to the neighborhood for a relative short period.”

Now that the rainy season is here again, “We and, the residents and pedestrians have started experiencing flooding and unhygienic situation in the area,” they noted.

Also, the stockpile of garbage at the main entrance leading to the populated West Point Township could cause serious health hazard to thousands of residents, especially marketers, who are transacting business there on a daily basis.

An exclusive sanitation investigation by the WASH

Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, revealed that sixty percent of the sanitation contract awarded by the World Bank was won by two local companies, Zoom Lion and N.C Sanitors.

These two companies were awarded sixty percent of the contract through a bidding process with the aim of taking over the sanitary operations of Monrovia and its environs.

The WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia added: “Thirty Percent of the contract was awarded Zoom Lion and N.C Sanitors, respectively, while 40% of same was given the MCC.

The 40% contract was given the MCC to complement efforts by the two companies, where they may be unable to perform adequately as it relates to the cleaning of Monrovia and environs. 

The City Corporation’s Press and Public Relations Officer, Nyenpan Jlateh: “The MCC is presently carrying on major interventions, as stipulated in the World Bank’s contract.”

“A firm has been hired to monitor the two companies implementing the World Bank’s sanitation project to ensure that the project is on course,” Mr. Jlateh also informed the WASH Network.

Despite the World Bank’s intervention, Monrovia and its surrounding areas are continuously being troubled by the poor sanitation problem, especially the threat it poses to the environment.

Some residents and marketers are calling on the World Bank revisits the contract it offered Zoom Lion and N.C Sanitors, because they claim that the two companies are not living up to the terms of the contract.

They are therefore recommending that the Bank contracts new companies capable of adequately doing the job.

For their part, Zoon Lion and N.C. Senators have attributed the huge stockpiles of garbage in and around Monrovia to residents’ failure to adhere to the place and time suitable for waste deposit.

“The filthiness of Monrovia is due to the over crowdedness of Monrovia since the end of the Liberian civil crisis, the two sanitation companies said.

They further told the WASH Reporters and Editors Network, that as the raining season reaches its peak, the Johansson area, especially around the drainage connecting the Atlantic Ocean, will be a “No Go Zone” for residents, marketers and pedestrians."

An economic study conducted for Liberia has shown that impacts resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene cost the Liberian economy US$18 m per year, or 2% of annual Gross Domestic product the equivalence.

The WASH Network wants both the Monrovia City and Paynesville City Corporations and Zoon Lion and N.C. Sanitors take more proactive measures in addressing the issue of poor sanitation in the city.

Meanwhile, the Network has promised to continue attracting public attention to the poor sanitation of Monrovia until positive actions are taken to address the unhealthy situation.


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