The skeleton of what is left of Hotel Africa is now being used by residents as a public latrine, which is yet to attract the attention of authorities, the Daily Observer has gathered.
Built in 1979 in Virginia, outside of the capital city of Monrovia, the once-famous Hotel Africa, constructed under the reign of former President William R. Tolbert Jr., has over the last four years been used as a toilet, with feces scattered in all locations, and wild growing bush and palm trees seen everywhere.
In addition, the one-time popular hotel garden has now been turned into a huge dumpsite, with the attendant bad smile, and is rumored to be home to hardened criminals.
Not exempt from the decline, the beach outside the hotel has also been turned into a defecation site, making it increasingly difficult for anyone passing by to walk the area surrounding the hotel, as one is bound to step on feces lying all over the place.
In an interview with residents, they claimed that they don’t have a choice but to use the hotel and beach as toilets.
“Most of us came here after the war, and the houses we built are just temporary structures with no toilet facilities,” a female resident explained, adding, “in the absence of public toilets or our homes having some, the hotel and beaches here are the only toilet options for many of us. Although it is not safe, we just have to do it.”
Another community resident, Patrick Lassana, who said he does not have a toilet facility at home, said the government should not be blamed for the people’s actions, but it is rather the responsibility of every homeowner to have toilets in their homes, which they have failed to do.
“However, I’m appealing to government and humanitarian organizations to make available public toilet facilities for us. We need them urgently. We want to stop using the hotel and the beaches.
“We need toilet facilities, and decent ones, most especially for our children, who risk their health by going to ease themselves in the hotel and beaches, which is not safe for them,” Patrick said.
Salome Gray noted that since the hotel has now become a home to criminals, they have scavenged everything from the hotel, making it difficult for people to see the beauty of the once prestigious Bacardi Bar and Restaurant.
Additionally, Nelson, as he is identified, said the community lacks clean and safe-drinking water due to the unavailability of hand pumps. He said there are not enough public toilets for the huge population and the sea has also damaged some of the pumps.
“We need water especially hand pumps. The ones that are here are not enough; the people are many, and the sea has also washed away some of the hand pumps,” he appealed.