By Omari Jackson
To ensure honor for the dead and to maintain clean cemeteries, the director of the General Services Agency (GSA), ‘General’ Mary Broh, suggests that the management of public burial sites be privatized by the Liberian government.
Speaking during a campaign by the Presidential Task Force to bring down the walls of and clean the Palm Grove Cemetery last week, Broh said when cemeteries are allowed to be managed by private companies, they get proper maintenance.
“We want a healthy environment for our country and so I think it will be a good idea if cemeteries are also managed by private organizations to ensure that they are always clean,” she said.
Broh said it should be the responsibility of every Liberian to show a level of love for the country. “I should not have to tell you to clean your country; for if you love your country, it should be that way without anyone telling you to do so,” she said.
Known as ‘General’ Broh for her robust, no-nonsense approach to cleaning Monrovia and ridding the city of illegal structures, she said the desecration of cemeteries, particularly the Palm Grove Cemetery in central Monrovia, should not be allowed.
The Presidential Task Force is presently charged with bringing down the walls of the Palm Grove Cemetery and a three-month cleanup campaign that would rid the cemetery of known drug addicts who have made the place their home.
The taskforce is to also destroy structures built on alleyways in central Monrovia; and Madam Broh told journalists that the task would be performed without fear or favor.
The campaign is being supported by the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), and the Liberia National Police (LNP) to ensure security and effectiveness.
Every year on Decoration Day, which falls on the second Wednesday in March, Liberians in their numbers visit cemeteries around the country to clean the graves of their loved ones. Many place memorial flowers on the graves and shed tears in remembrance of the dearly departed.
Sadly, many a cemetery around the country has been converted into garbage dumpsites, toilets, as well as a residence for many of the most at-risk-youth across the country.
Likewise, illegal structures are built on alleyways across the country, which is responsible for floods during the Rainy Season.
“This gives the city an ugly appearance, and we are out to correct that,” said Broh as she ‘put her hand to the plow.’