LMA Blamed for Red-Light Sanitation Challenge

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Garbage heap at Gobachop market, Paynesville

Socrate Jallah, Liberia Marketing Association comptroller, says the association has failed to comply with the paynesville City Corporation’s garbage collection standard due to poor working relation in the leadership realm.

Jallah made the statement when the PCC mayor, Pam Belcher-Taylor on a local radio station accuse the LMA of collecting garbage fees from marketers but without collecting the garbage and expecting the city corporation to collect the waste. “Market leaders at Red-light and Goba-chop field collect garbage fees from marketers on daily basis but refuse to collect the garbage,” said Mayor Taylor.

According to the Mayor, the city government has been in talks with the LMA to come up with a plan where they can give a portion of what they collect to enable the running of the trucks, but they have failed to comply.  “Garbage collection is not an inexpensive thing. It is very expensive. Every time we go out to collect waste, it costs us a lot.”

Mayor Taylor said the purpose of the fees collected by LMA from the marketers is to pay the city corporation to collect garbage at various markets places, but the money collected does not reach the city corporation and LMA does not collect the garbage. “You cannot have one group of people collecting money under the pretense of collecting garbage and they are not paying to the city government but expects the city government to do the work they collect money for.”

With the sanitation challenges facing Monrovia and its surroundings, Paynesville Red-Light is one area regularly overwhelmed by garbage. It is a place where thousands of people converge daily to transact business. Even as the government constructs the modern road from Coca-Cola factory to ELWA Junction, drainages fixed by the engineers have been filled with dirt thereby putting the road workers under obligation to clean up again before commencing the work on the road.

Over time there have been many complaints from marketers and residents within the Red-Light area as a relates to waste collection. The city government has said that community dwellers should subscribe to a Community Based Enterprise (CBEs) to collect their waste to reduce the challenge, but not many people have complied. “We have registered CBEs that collect waste from residents and we designate a landfill for waste, though, we have some CBEs that are not compliant,” Mayor Taylor added.

Jallah further explained that there are sub-branches of the LMA controlling marketplaces within the Red-light area including the coalfield market, Lofa field, Pipeline and Internal Love Winning Africa (ELWA), but the money the these branches collect is not reported to the LMA to enable the organization pay what it should to PCC for waste collection.

“These people collect money on their own and they are being guarded by certain government officials (names withheld) that are within this government, which is creating problems for us,” said Jallah.

According to him,  In 2017, PCC and LMA were in full corporation and as a result waste was collected timely.  “We were paying the PCC when we took office newly, but when the confusion came in LMA, a certain group of people withdrew from making a deposit in the LMA’s account and we have tried to work it around but all efforts have proven fruitless.”

He further maintained that Goba-chop market is very important market to the LMA in terms of fund collection because all the vehicles that come from urban area pay money to the market leadership.

 “Goba-chop field is not reporting fund to help us to clear the garbage, for they have a certain group within the LMA that opposes this government. This issue was discussed before the mayor. The only way we can collect garbage is when these funds are remitted in LMA’s account,” the LMA Comptroller added.

Meline B. Jallah, Goba-chop Market Superintendent, said they have been reporting to LMA fess collected except for ground fees. “We have been reporting to the LMA except for ground fees that marketers do not pay to us.”

Meline Jallah added that they have had challenges in collecting waste from the market because people come from different communities within paynesville to dump their waste there.

Meanwhile the City Government has instituted a nighttime patrol to arrest those in the habit of dumping waste in the streets.  “We have instituted a taskforce to work during the night and we have arrested 62 persons” Mayor Taylor added.

According to her, those arrested are fined per the amount of garbage they are cut with. The amount ranges from $25-100 United States Dollars. “We have arrested a pick-up with dirt, and people come as far as from Sinkor to dump dirt in the street in Paynesville,” she said.

According to her, they are in talks with the Paynesville magisterial court to prosecute people who are caught dumping dirt during the night.

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