As usual, at the nation’s three general markets of Red-light, (Paynesville), Waterside, (Monrovia) and Duala, (Bushrod Island), Christmas shoppers, traders and others were compelled to celebrate the festive shopping season threading over layers of uncollected trash and making pathways through sprawls of garbage.
On top of that menace at the three business districts, thousands of shoppers got the brunt of the stench of sewer and squalor everywhere, making their holiday shopping experience miserable.
Regrettably, at the three crowded business districts, some shoppers were heard registering their disgust and indignation over the rotten filth and health hazard and expressing serious concerns about the sanitation crisis in Monrovia.
The Urban Waste Management Projects under the financial stewardship of the World Bank has infused millions of dollars to alleviate the continuous sanitation crisis of Monrovia and its environs, apparently without much success.
Sanitation companies contracted over the years by the municipal governments of Paynesville and Monrovia to collect and dispose of the overwhelming number of garbage sprawls everywhere have failed to keep up with the task.
Collection of garbage over the years has not been sustained as inadequate garbage containers overflow and dumpsites remain unattended for several weeks, creating health hazards, untold misery and environmental problems to community residents.
It was observed however that some of the sanitation companies made steady progress in keeping the streets of central Monrovia and along the Tubman Boulevard through Congotown relatively clean and tidy during the year in review.
Sanitation and environmental analysts also attributed the failure of sanitation companies to meet the garbage disposal challenges of Monrovia and its environs to their refusal to incorporate community dwellers in the process.
The analysts also claim that the entire planning, strategies, and implementation processes of the Urban Waste Management Projects have over the years left the community dwellers out for unexplained reasons.
The issues of sanitation management should be the collective responsibility of all Liberians, not a portion of the Liberian society, they advised.
In order for the sanitation crisis of Monrovia to be minimized, Municipal Governments of Paynesville and Monrovia must be able to design practical strategies that are suitable for the current realities.
“It is indeed a disgrace to the nation that the capital city Monrovia continues to be the haven of stench, filth and squalor every year,” the analysts lamented.
“Our rural back yards and small towns and villages are becoming better in terms of observing the basic and critical sanitation and environmental practices,” Ms. Helen Tornolah Totota’s Christmas shopper asserted.
“Each Christmas and New Year season, when we come to Monrovia to buy our goods, we go back to our villages with plenty sicknesses such as colds, headache and fever from the rotten and uncollected garbage in all our market places,” Voinjama City businessman Moses Mulbah Kesselly complained.
“I personally want different methods and ways to be designed to help clean all the big market places like Duala, Waterside and Red-light in our cities of Monrovia and Paynesville,” Mr. Kesselly said.
For his part, Nimba County businessman Gonkawon B. Saywah, 58, stressed that effective next year, 2015, urban planners and municipal governments of Monrovia and Paynesville should employ practical ways to collect and dispose of the dirt.
“I’m really frustrated and downhearted that each time I come to Monrovia, I see the markets of Duala, Waterside and Red-light very dirty and worse as I return home,” Mr. Saywah lamented.