Habitat for Humanity Relieves Peace Islanders of Waste Challenge

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Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee and NHA managing director Cecilia Cuffy Browne, during the dedication of the recycling bin in the Peace Island community.

The Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with the National Housing Authority (NHA) has built and dedicated a Recycle Bin in the Peace Island Community to control waste among thousands of inhabitants of that part of Monrovia.

Peace Island, like the rest of Monrovia and environs, has sanitation challenge that has not been adequately addressed.  Many people living in this area do not have toilets and, because waste management is weak with no trash bins in public places to control waste, people adapted to littering as well as public defecation and urination, thus posing health challenges.

Peace Islanders themselves, having realized the challenge and the need to address it, took the initiative to ask Habitat for Humanity to assist in building the recycle bin that will relieve them of the sanitation challenge. With their consistency in the quest to address the waste issue in the community Habitat for Humanity and its partners dedicated the bin at the end of the year, thus ushering the residents into the new year with joy and a different attitude towards waste.

The Project Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, Matthew N’dote, confirmed that residents of the Peace Island Community informed his organization that since the founding of the community in 2004, there has not been a solution for managing waste there.

He added that, based on the expression of the need to manage their waste, Habitat and NHA designed a plan to support a project by constructing the RC-Bin.

He disclosed that the project was funded by partners, with NHA taking the lead and great teamwork that made the project successful.

Apparently knowing the sanitation challenge facing Monrovia and its environs, Mr. N’dote said the organization has conducted training for community waste collectors in partnership with the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC).  The MCC according to toN’dote will provide support for the community to develop regulatory rules in waste management for the first time in the Peace Island Community.

He continued: “This community would be the first community where the household would be paid for waste collections through the bylaws,” further disclosing that Habitat has provided logistical materials for the collection of waste.

Some of the tools provided include wheelbarrows, shovels, cutlasses hoes, hand gloves and nose masks among other things.

During the dedication, the Managing Director of NHA Celia Cuffy Brown, who cut the ribbon, lauded residents of the community for their sensitivity in detecting what could be an issue of concern to them, stressing that they were instrumental  in making the construction of the recycle bin possible.

She commended Habitat for Humanity for the effort exerted to have the RC- Bin constructed in the Peace Island Community, but also emphasized that Monrovia was not all of Liberia and therefore Habitat for Humanity should consider reaching out to the rest of the 15 counties which have a similar needs.

“Habitat for Humanity, you have to fasten your seatbelt because this initiative will be on the rise in the country,” the NHA Managing Director said.

Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson T. Koijee unveiling the “Marble Stone” on structure, told the residents of Peace Island that they are now feeling the impact of the decision they have made by requesting for the construction of the RC-bin. “The decision that you have made is what we as policymakers are here celebrate with you and to ensure that it eases some of the difficulties the community faces,” said Mayor Koijee.

Marrie Doe, a resident who spoke to the Daily Observer shortly after the dedication, said she welcomed the initiative by NHA, MCC and its partners and citizens ought to see it as a blessing. She cautioned community dwellers to take care of the project so that the community can have control over waste materials. “If our environment is clean, we will be healthy. Our surrounding needs to be clean,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across the United States, and in approximately 70 countries including Liberia. Its vision is to have a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat works toward a vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

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