Mandela Day Celebrated With a Cleanup Campaign

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Banner bearing the cleaning up campaign message

By Ishmael F. Menkor

The Young African Leaders Initiative Network (YALI-Network), Jungle Water Energy Power Incorporated and the Water Producers Association-Nimba Chapter, in collaboration with the Nimba County Health System on July 18 carried out a cleanup campaign in commemoration of Mandela Day in Ganta City. The celebration brought together people from the various communities in and around Ganta.

The ceremony began with a parade highlighting cleanup activities from the LPMC Community to the Ganta General Market, from where the group removed a huge pile of garbage. The exercise was extended to other parts of Ganta and finally ended with an indoor program at a resort.

Bob Marshall Dolo, Jungle Water public relations officer, said “residents should not leave the cleaning of the city to the municipal authority alone, but for all to get involved, as doing so will prevent any future disease outbreaks.” Dolo said that Jungle Energy Power and its partner will carry out the cleanup activities yearly as part of their contribution to cleaning up the communities, for which the next phase will include Sanniquellie, the county’s political capital.

Austin G. Mehn, a supervisor for environmental health assigned with the Nimba County Health System, said the campaign was held under the theme: “Clean and Healthy Environment is a Right. No Clean Environment, No Good Health.”

Mr. Mehn, who used a megaphone to create awareness during the parade, encouraged Ganta residents to clean their communities to have a healthy environment free of sicknesses that one can contract as a result of poor management of the environment. Mehn said he was disappointed because members of the business community did not attend the ceremony.

Ganta City Mayor Ben Dokpa said the absence of the business community from the cleanup exercise was due to short notice from the organizing committee. Dokpa then expressed disappointment in the residents for the way they have over the years mismanaged the 50 garbage bins that the city authority placed on the streets to control waste. He said one of the challenges in keeping the city clean is the unwillingness of the residents to work or cooperate with the city authority to join the cleanup exercise. He said the city has designed a new strategy to clean the city by assigning a garbage drum to each storefront as a means of controlling wastes from littering.

At the end of the program, 20 garbage bins were turned over to the Ganta City Council to be strategically placed around Ganta for proper use.

Wender K. Massaquoi contributed to this story

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