Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson T. Koijee, yesterday described the huge piles of garbage or wastes across Monrovia as a national emergency which needs a collective fight.
Mayor Koijee, who spoke at a major press conference in Monrovia yesterday, said the municipal government is doing everything possible to address the health threat facing residents by garbage menace.
Mayor Koijee said the garbage issues confronting the city have claimed the attention of the government, indicating the World Bank and the government have been operating bilaterally in dealing with wastes in the city of Monrovia before his administration.
He said US$17.5 million was allotted to clean Monrovia, with the Liberian government asked to make available US$4million, but was given US$350,000.00 quarterly prior to his administration.
Mayor Koijee said he took over the city government with nothing in the budget to address the current waste situation, something he said was a huge challenge.
He said President George Weah has allocated US$750,000 in the 2018/2019 national budget to clean Monrovia.
“Our contribution in partnership with the World Bank will go towards equipment. The World Bank is contemplating a new land for wastes to enhance our work. With this, things will not be the same,” he said.
Koijee pointed out that the amount of US$116,000 is used weekly just to keep Monrovia clean and green in line with President Weah’s promise.
Meanwhile, Mayor Koijee said the city police will be deployed at every location where the dirt buckets will be placed for the collection of dirt and violators will be arrested in accordance with the city ordinance of Monrovia.
He said if the buckets are filled with wastes, it wouldn’t be good for residents to drop the dirt on the ground.
“We have embarked on a 20-day engagement to keep the city clean and green and it requires everyone to get involved. We have over 3,500 buckets that will be placed in several locations across the city to collect wastes. Hotlines will be made available to call if the buckets are filled for collection,” he added.
Mayor Koijee has called on residents within the city to fully cooperate with the municipal government in making the city clean.
“This is a national threat or emergency. We need to engage every sector regarding wastes. We are exploring how we can have a public-private partnership in wastes collection. Beginning August 17-18, 2018, we will have a national stakeholders conference to address wastes issues in the city. We need to do a comprehensive review of wastes processes,” he noted.
Koijee has also announced that the “Weah for Clean City” has received US$750,000 in the current 2018/2019 national budget, something he said will help the youth to get involved in the cleaning-up exercise.