For many years, 2014 being no exception, thousands of rural and urban Christmas shoppers face an unpleasant reception at the Red-light General Market in Paynesville.
Mountains of garbage have again swallowed the four strategic entry points of the nation’s largest food market.
Several surveys have revealed that most of the plans and strategies organized by sanitation companies and urban planners have not yielded fruitful results and the dirt continues to pose grave sanitation and environmental problems for residents.
Strangely, at most of the dump sites, dozens of garbage scavengers were seen in desperate search of whatever could be found for their daily survival as the economic struggle at the commercial district becomes increasingly grave and desperate.
Most of the rotten garbage at the dump sites has gone uncollected for the past five weeks.
Contracted sanitation companies apparently face enormous challenges, given the huge population at the Red Light and its environs.
Many who commented on the situation to the Daily Observer during the weekend pointed out that due to the lack of realistic and practical garbage collection strategies, the situation had become almost insurmountable.
While residents and businesspeople of greater Monrovia continue to breathe fresh air from the Atlantic Ocean, the Paynesville commercial district celebrates in contaminated and offensive odors from rotten garbage dumpsites.
It is indeed an open secret that visitors and businesspeople entering the Red-light Market are greeted with the unpleasant scenes and scents, risking more health hazards even as the nation wrestles with Ebola.
Happily, officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have one way or the other succeeded in decongesting the pothole-driven streets of mass of petty traders parading the crowded Red-light Market.
Unfortunately, the defiant wheelbarrow peddlers doing petty commercial activities continue to present a nightmare to shoppers and motorists.
In separate interviews with the Daily Observer during the weekend, businesspeople and residents expressed grave concern over the sanitation and environmental conditions of the Red-light Market.
Businessman Francis B. Weahpoe, 44, said the sanitation challenges at the Red-light Market could be handled with some practical and radical approaches.
“In my view, people, whether in business or otherwise, must be made to pay for the indiscriminate dumping of dirt anywhere at this Red-light Market,” Mr. Weahpoe stressed.
He further suggested that all municipal laws and regulations regarding sanitation and the environment should be enforced without fear or favor upon all Liberians irrespective of political and economic background.
Businesswoman Elizabeth B. Morrison, 50, noted that the sanitation crisis associated with the garbage challenges should be treated with some practical steps such as compulsory cleaning of premises.
“I am convinced that sanitation companies and community dwellers should work together in tackling the enormous garbage challenges at this Red-light Market,” Mrs. Morrison emphasized.
She also warned that the sanitation crisis will continue to haunt business entities and residents of the commercial district of Paynesville if radical and practical steps are not taken to tackle the situation.