Liberia’s Degraded Ecological Environment

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Extensive investigations into the background of Liberia’s bleak environmental challenges can be safely described in terms of total degradation and as unhealthy for the population.

Time immemorial, the Liberian environment has been plagued with challenges and constraints such as the dumping of used oils from the many unsupervised garages and some industrial entities.

Over the years, owing to weak laws and the general lack of the enforcement mechanisms, the Liberian environment continues to be abused and misused in part due to the lack of public or in-home toilet facilities and in part by unscrupulous individuals who do not need a college education to know the dangers of dumping oil in a river.

Many of these garages are situated near small rivers, ponds and streams that are being used by peri-urban farmers for sustainable livelihoods in several parts of Monrovia and its environs.

Regrettably, the spilled oil kills most of the precious marine species that buttress the efforts of the hundreds of peri-urban farmers in Monrovia and other parts of the country.

Henceforth, peri-urban farmers have consistently and constantly complained of the serious and grave environmental degradations of the small ponds, rivers and streams to the relevant Liberian Government agencies.

Such numerous complaints have only fallen on deaf ears and the worrisome situation continues to perpetually remain unattended to and unddressed by the statutory, responsible entities of the Liberian Government.

Many peri-urban farmers constantly remind support partners and the Liberian Government that agriculture will not produce that dividend if the appropriate steps are not taken for the sustainable livelihood components.

In addition, it would be very expedient if substantial resources could be earmarked for the sustainable protection of the Liberian environment by the Liberian Government and support partners.

Principally, it would also serve as a genuine step in the right direction if environmental awareness could be intensified amongst garage owners and peri-urban farmers in some major cities throughout the country.

Several environmentalists are of the candid opinion that the ecological systems of several parts of the nation’s capital are being threatened by the dumping of hazardous wastes and used oils from garages.

So many challenges and constraints are confronting the Liberian environment to the extent that, many commentators are describing the situation as “insurmountable.”

The perennial degradation of the Liberian environment continues and speaks volumes of the peculiar nature of the situation to which an aggressive approache should be taken by the Liberian Government.

If the Liberian Government and support partners are thinking about a practical solution of the environmental degradations of Monrovia, then genuine work should begin now and not later.

Basically, the cardinal issue of protecting the Liberian environment should be the collective responsibility of all Liberians, beginning with the highest political leadership of the nation. Besides that, if support partners and friendly governments should support the environmental issues of the nation, Liberians as a united front must be the foremost leaders to begin creating a sustained sensitization and awareness.

In the recent past, Lutheran Bishop Dr. Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo expressed grave concern about the ecological system of some of Monrovia’s unprotected beaches owing to waste being dumped into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Lutheran Bishop at the time underscored the urgent need for the relevant agencies of the Liberian Government to institute the necessary mechanisms that should stop the dumping of waste into the Atlantic Ocean.

Consequently, it could be greatly helpful if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could swiftly wake up from its slumber and make sure that the laws and regulations governing the sector be implemented without fear nor favor.

Notably, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW), Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and other environmental support partners should join the bandwagon on the issues of awareness and massive sensitization, particularly in Monrovia.

Finally, it is hoped that concerns, recommendations, observations and suggestions advanced in this article would generate further debate and discussions on the highly stressed Liberian environment.

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