Lake Tileh Turns Dumpsite, Residents Blame Marketeers

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A view of Lake Tilleh from a distance

The only man-made lake in Liberia, Lake Tileh, has been turned into a dumpsite for marketeers at the Sanniquellie Central Market and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Daily Observer recently observed that the lake is gradually disappearing due to the dumping of garbage by residents, as well as by those who pollute the shores of the lake by washing vehicles.

Almost  half of the lake has been covered with dirt and grass, which makes it difficult for anyone to notice the beauty of the once famous lake during the 60s.

The shore of Lake Tilleh from the back of the market building

The portion extending to the Catholic Compound at the northern end of Sanniquellie and the one to the east that is near the former airstrip, has been eroded; while the part surrounding the Sanniquellie Central Market is being covered with refuse.

When contacted, Sanniquellie Marketing Superintendent Beatrice Lah could not deny claims about the disposal of garbage along the lake. She however said the marketeers do not have any other nearby dumpsite that is far away from the market.

Ms Lah also pointed accusing fingers at nearby community dwellers who dump garbage in the lake, something she said was beyond her control.

“We don’t have garage toting van or anything that could enhance the exercise, and there is nowhere around this community to dump garbage; so it is very difficult to contain the dumping of dirt on the shores of the lake, though we recognize the place as historic,” she said.

“If we have a car or truck to take the garbage away, we would have asked city authorities to identify a place around Sanniquellie to dispose of dirt,” Ms Lah maintained.

Back of the market building and partial view of Sanniquellie

She also explained that the proximity of the lake to the market poses a threat to the importance of the lake itself; therefore, it would be necessary for the government to relocate the market from the shore of the lake to some other place that would be accessible to marketeers and their customers.

However, some prominent citizens of Sanniquellie have blamed the marketeers for polluting the lake. They therefore urged the government to relocate the market as the only way to protect the lake.

“If this market is relocated, the market building could be transformed to contain something to attract visitors; but if the market continues in this location, the lake will not be protected,” said one Gono, a permanent resident.

“The only way to do this is to relocate the market, dredge the lake, then of course, it will regain the posture it deserves,” said Mr. P. Luogon Lah, one of the well established residents.

Sanniquellie Central Market was built in the late ’50s at the bank of Lake Tileh. But with a growing population as compared to when the market was built, the site can no longer host its current residents.

The market building  overlooks the shore of the lake, which many believe led to the disposal of garbage into Lake Tileh. However, it has been suggested that the market should be turned into a hotel that would attract tourists.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The matter is very simple, and can be solved. However, The Market leadership and County leadership must demonstarte the willingness to do so. What should they do? They should identify a capable private service provider, enter into contract with it for disposal of their waste. Who pays fo it? The marketeers. It is their waste. They make it everyday. Each marketeer should pay a certain amount daily or weekly for this purpose. The County authority should identify a suitable place for the disposal of the waste.

    So you see, many things can be easily handled by the people involve with. But they must show willingness.
    Relocating the market is not a lasting solution. The marketeers will equally polute the new environment. Why? Because they have not learned to responsibly dispose of their wastes. You see, it doesn’t matter where you are located. What matters is to know the right thing to do, and do it.

    I hope this little response of mine will help in providing a lasting solution to this major and national problem.

  2. That disposal problem is all over the urban areas of the country. Monrovia is a deadly cesspool including the areas directly off shore. Slipway and the market area should be demolished. The whole beachfront area and waterway are highly polluted with fecal waste and plastic.
    The area is long past the tipping point and redemption may not be possible. Very sad to see human beings live as animals while those in charge argue about other things above providing basic human needs. With all of the US and Chinese dollars flooding the country year after year, who is benefitting? A recent article spoke of the Ghanta market building funded at $US 1.5 million. It was not finished in 2006 because those in charge took a vacation to the US. Are you kidding? Being gone for 11 years is not a vacation, it is fraud.
    It will be interesting to watch what happens with the current law suits and investigations for corruption going on and what graft will be found against Ellen and her cronies. Did her son ever get indicted for the receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars he got from the mining companies? Greed… corrupt… sad…

  3. The problem with our country is that, our leaders are only after they and their families welfare not the betterment of the country.

    This is very simple, the leadership of the county or the city major of sanniquellie city can show a special site for garbage from in or around the market, the marketers will be forced to take their waste to this special site.

    And also assigned people who will be pay to take care of our historical lake, easy does it.
    They won’t do that all they after is money .

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