Garbage Poses Health Hazard to Community Residents

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The presence of the stockpile of dirt has become the breeding ground for rodents (rats), mosquitoes, cockroaches and other insects that are transmitters of Malaria, Typhoid, and Lassa fever.

As PCC urges community dwellers to subscribe to the commercial waste department…

By Tina S. Mehnpaine

The uncontrollable spread of garbage in communities and on the main streets of Monrovia has become a habit hunting the sanity of the Capital.  City governments have decried this over the years that residents were intentionally dumping garbage in the streets and making the city filthy, but residents have always defended their actions by attributing it to lack of proper facilities or means (dumpsites, garbage bins, etc) and enforceable regulations to control the situation.

For the residents of the Bassa Town community in Paynesville, they are calling on the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) to clean the huge pile of dirt in their community on a portion of private land being used as a dumpsite.

The presence of the stockpile of dirt has become the breeding ground for rodents (rats), mosquitoes, cockroaches and other insects that are transmitters of Malaria, Typhoid, and Lassa fever. 

Besides the harboring of parasites, the garbage also emits a stench that pollutes the air for breathing.

Ma-Jomah   Konneh, whose house is opposite the dumpsite, said the bad odor from the garbage is really affecting her family and tenants, adding that people come as far as the Police Academy community to dump their dirt there at night.

“The Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) is not giving due attention to the request of Bassa Community dwellers in their request for cleaning the filths,” she said.

Instead, the PCC is directing the residents to subscribe to the commercial waste management team of the city corporation or any community based enterprise that is responsible.

According to the PCC Communications Department, the city corporation is only responsible for collecting dirt from the main streets and not in communities.

Jeremiah Diggen, PCC’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), said garbage collection is cost-intensive and people should subscribe to the waste collection department  or (CBEs) for the collection of waste. 

He said while the PCC continues to work throughout the municipality to give it a facelift, it should not be too much to ask of residents in the various communities to pay a minimum amount to the city corporation for garbage collection.

“The mindset of our people must change.  All around the world people pay garbage collection fees and people must learn to pay some minimum amount for garbage,” he noted.

Adding, he said even if people are reluctant to do business with PCC, they should be able to subscribe to a recognized Community Based Enterprise.

“People you see going around from community to community with tricycles and wheelbarrows, [residents can] do with business with them as well for the collection of your waste,” Diggen added.

But Madam Konneh argues that, if residents should subscribe to CBEs or the PCC garbage collection team, then the PCC should be able to go from house to house to educate people on how to subscribe to the commercial waste department. By this, she believes, citizens will have knowledge in managing their garbage.

According to her, people are not informed about how to manage their dirt and, as a result, some are using their backyards as dumpsites, while others burn their garbage, thus polluting the air.

Diggen warns that those caught burning garbage in their communities or yards will be penalized by the PCC.

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