Five sewage manholes on Water Street, Waterside, in central Monrovia are gushing out highly offensive contents onto the street while business owners and traders show little concern about the unsightly, foul mess.
On touring Water Side yesterday amid the teeming holiday crowds of more sellers than buyers, our reporter could not avoid what he went to investigate: the open manholes oozing out their “dangerous and offensive human chemicals” which in local expression is “poopoo water” running along the groove of the street.
Though many business owners and traders expressed disgust, they simply waved their arms in exasperation, some stating that broken or open manholes oozing out offensive odour is a daily occurrence.
Businesspeople were seen jumping over the mess and going about their usual business amid the stench as the faeces laden stream trickled by.
Some people interviewed by the Daily Observer vented their anger and frustration at the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation and the Monrovia City Corporation for not being responsive enough to repair open or broken sewers.
Many said Waterside, as Liberia’s second largest food and merchandize market, does not deserve the poor treatment when it comes to maintaining manholes.
It may be recalled that in 2014, broken manholes delivered the same offensive mess and the situation remained unattended to despite complaints from business owners.
On many occasions, officials of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) would send out messages of assurance that efforts would be made to clean up the sewage system.
A resident on Randall Street identified as Sam Zongolo observed that the dramatic increase in the population of central Monrovia “has led to the drastic increase in the output of sewage in many parts of the city.”
He added that Monrovia’s sewage system needs reconstruction to prevent the occurrence of broken sewage pipes.
A middle aged woman said, “This is one of the reasons Monrovia is plagued with air borne diseases.”
Madam Elizabeth Hawa Collins told our reporter that LWSC officials need to leave the comfort of their offices on King Sao Bosso Street and see the sanitation threats at the Waterside business district just below their premises.
A used shoes dealer on Coleman Hill east of Waterside, Matthew Kolleh, told the Daily Observer that something practical must be done in the current dry season.
“The government should ensure that the sewage system of Monrovia is not neglected because our lives are in grave danger,” he said.
At the third open manhole, dozens of business owners and consumers held their noses owing to the bad odour that filled the air.
Moses Saa Nyumah, 45, operating a wheelbarrow, moved with terrific speed and quickly passed over the open manhole close to the former Liberia Tractor and Caterpillar Corporation (LIBTRACO).
As a result of his speed, he collided with other wheelbarrow operators spilling their goods to the ground.
“It is the faeces from that manhole I was trying to escape that caused me to hit your wheelbarrows and I want you to forgive me,” Nyumah pleaded with his fellow wheelbarrow traders.