Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) has labeled the Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation Project (EMUS) as one of the most successfully implemented projects under the City Council.
EMUS project is a World Bank sponsored initiative tasked to address Monrovia’s sanitation constraints.
Reacting to media reports of a breakdown in the implementation process of the EMUS project, the City government expressed regret over the action of the media to flag issues without checking the facts.
According to MCC the project is effective and efficient to the point where the World Bank monitoring team previously commended MCC for being “one of the best urban sanitation projects in Africa, as it is achieving its major components.”
A release quoting Roderick G. Smith, Project Manager, noted that various components of the project include provision of technical assistance to small and medium enterprises that provide door-to-door waste collection, construction of two solid waste transfer stations and financing of waste collection and disposal operating costs.
Also among the components is the development of a public awareness campaign to sensitize the population on safe handling of solid wastes.
“To date, MCC is working with 25 Community-Based Enterprises (CBEs) that are engaged in primary (door –to-door) waste collection services in most parts of Monrovia. To build their capacity, Global Communities (formerly CBEs, CHF) was contracted by EMUS to train CBEs and provide materials (wheelbarrows, push carts, shovels, rakes, rain boots, hand gloves and nose masks) to existing CBEs. Each of the fourteen CBEs that were existing in early 2011 received start up grants amounting to US$2,724.00 or more.
Moreover, regular capacity building activities for CBEs are carried out by the MCC and its partners.
“One transfer station is located in Fiamah and the other at Stockton Creek; and both are functional. Two Liberian entities (Libra Sanitation and Caspian Holdings) have been contracted to collect and dispose of solid wastes from the streets of Monrovia.
“To make this more functional, Monrovia has been divided into two zones (northern and southern). Caspian Holdings collects from the northern zone and Libra Sanitation collects from the southern zone.
“Starting in 2010, EMUS assisted the MCC in developing a communication strategy with a community-based approach. This strategy includes public awareness and educational programs, such as the broadcast of radio and TV jingles and Community Outreach Programs (COPs).
“The COPs include street play in partnership with Flomo Theater, hosting of community interactive fora, holding children’s rallies at schools and briefings in churches and mosques on Sundays and Fridays, respectively,” the project manager explained.
“The second component includes provision of technical assistance to MCC which has funded nine staff of MCC who attended training courses in the United States, Italy, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates, while other MCC staff received training locally.
“Moreover, the project has also donated two trucks and one front-end loader, among other equipment, to MCC for capacity building purposes,” Smith stated.
For the first time in Liberia, waste is measured scientifically based on a construction of a sanitary landfill for solid waste disposal.
At the Whein Town landfill, MCC commenced dumping waste in early 2010 when the first cells were developed. Currently, waste collected from Monrovia is dumped at this landfill. The landfill and transfer stations have weigh bridges to measure the quantity of waste carried there, the release said.
Although the EMUS Project is successful, the project manager said, “We continue to manage challenges associated with waste collection and disposal services.”
Trucks and front-end loaders to collect at least 24,000 tons of uncollected waste in selected communities around the city have been instituted by MCC to address said challenges.
However, the Monrovia City Council expressed commitment to providing a clean and safe environment for all residents of the City of Monrovia.