Voinjama, which hosts more than 11,000 inhabitants, is being threatened by a looming sanitation crisis.
The city’s market area, especially the slaughter house and behind the Voinjama Free Pentecostal Church, has been overtaken by piles of garbage.
Residents and business people in the affected areas of the city told the Daily Observer recently that the garbage has been untouched for the past three weeks.
Citizens of Voinjama pointed out that in the absence of a sustained garbage collection system under the Voinjama City Corporation (VCC), the uncollected trash would continue to pile up and bring with it the threat of an outbreak of disease.
Reacting to the claims of the residents, officials of the sanitation and environmental department of VCC said the entity lacks the critical logistics to respond to the sanitation crisis.
Concerned health and environmental groups in Voinjama have expressed concern about what they see as a possible sanitation crisis threatening the densely populated city.
Martin Sumo, a health worker, claimed that most of the cook shops being operated are doing so in unsanitary conditions and that the lawful intervention of relevant government agencies and institutions in Voinjama was urgently needed.
Mr. Sumo pointed out that a majority of the prepared food handlers do not have the required dress code to meet the minimum standards of operating a cook shop.
The environmental groups based in Voinjama underscored the urgent need for the local office of the Environmental Agency (EPA) to carry its campaign to the various garages in the interest of a clean environment.
The group’s representatives claimed that dozens of makeshift garages situated at strategic locations in Voinjama pose a threat of environmental degradation.
They explained that used oil from engines of vehicles and generators continues to be disposed of in the various swamps in the middle of the city.
“On top of that, this used oil being dumped into the swamps threatens the marine resources and vitality of swamp crops such as rice, cabbage, and bitter-balls,” the group leaders said.
Environmental activist Solomon Mulbah noted that private generator owners using their back yards to house their machines are creating air pollution.
He called on the VCC’s leadership to embark on a sustained sensitization campaign among cook shops, restaurants, night clubs and video centers with sustainable mechanisms in place to protect Voinjama’s environment.
Environmentalists and health workers have called on residents and business owners to observe better sanitation and hygiene practices to work with the VCC’s Environmental Department to clean the city and its surroundings.