Sanitation Crisis Looms over Nation’s Largest Food Market

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Mountains of dirt, unattended for weeks, have again raised concern about a potential sanitation crisis that looms over the nation’s largest food market of Red-light, just outside Monrovia.

The Red-light Market plays host to ninety percent of Monrovia’s food and other critical needs from rural Liberia, though the market and its surroundings could never be mistaken for anything that Mary Broh might be associated with.

Mr. Davidson B. Mulbah, 44, a prominent resident of Paynesville City, in which the Red-light Market is located, told the Daily Observer Friday that the garbage crisis at Red-light can only be tackled by a radical approach.

He added that residents and business people of Red-light Market have suffered to long over the years, from the unbearable stench of rotten garbage, which are dumped right on the main route leading into Liberia’s hinterland.

Resident Mulbah also pointed out that the Red-light Market is one of the entrances to the Monrovia, which is Liberia’s capital.

“The scene of the rotten garbage is indeed unpleasant and the endless odors highly unacceptable by all standards,” John Belleh, a trader at the Red-light Market, stated.

“I personally want to stop speaking to the media. Why? Because, we have spoken and complained through several media outlets and nothing has happened,” trader Belleh bellowed out at our reporter, who had gone out to speak with those doing business in the squalor.

He, however, suggested that the current strategies being used by sanitation companies must be revisited and a better crafted one that would swiftly enhance the collection and disposal of trash from the garbage ridden market, be put into place.

“In order to ensure a better and healthy environment,” Mr. Belleh noted, “stakeholders in the sanitation sector must graduate from the cosmetic solution to a more robust one. That is the only way, this thing of garbage crisis will be solved.”

He further argued that ad-hoc solutions to the sanitation crisis at the Red-light Market are no longer realistic and therefore, efforts should be aimed at sustainable strategies.

“We cannot afford and tolerate our food-stuffs being contaminated by both water and air-borne diseases simply due to poor urban sanitation management at the Red-light Market in Paynesville,” trader Belleh stressed.

He also underscored the need for Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other sanitation stakeholders to translate their various conferences’ documents into practical working instruments that would address current challenges in that sector.

Mr. Belleh said that mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches and other poisonous animals such as snakes and scorpions are common place in the heart and outskirt of the Red-light Market in Paynesville.

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