One of several 2014 health survey reports obtained by the Daily Observer indicates that the huge swarms of mosquitos infesting their communities continue to vex Monrovia’s slum dwellers.
The survey report also revealed that the health perils for these poverty-stricken slum dwellers are owing to the huge breeding spots of mosquitoes in their communities.
The health survey carried out by UN aid agencies and private Liberian health institutions further indicated that the slum settlements of Monrovia continue to be messed up by decades-old clogged drainages that are havens for mosquitoes and other harmful insects.
Despite the increasing outcries over the years by Monrovia slum residents, successive administrations continue to ignore their concerns and appeals for measures to eradicate the breeding places of the mosquitos.
Incidentally, some of the slum settlements are situated at the very foot of Liberia’s Executive Mansion in the heart of the nation’s capital, Monrovia.
According to some of the slum dwellers contacted during the weekend, sometimes their sentiments and protests are not only ignored but on many occasions crushed by powerful voices and invisible hands.
The slum dwellers further pointed out that construction of health and medical facilities in their communities are good initiatives, bringing relief to their door steps.
But they indicated that if the critical issues of fixing clogged drains and removal of dumpsites and stagnant water cannot be prioritized, construction of health facilities would only amount to cosmetic solutions to the problem.
Apart from the mosquito-breeding spots, some of the unwanted visitors infesting their neighborhoods include cockroaches, rats, scorpions and sometimes snakes and air and water borne diseases.
On top of those menaces are the inadequate medical facilities that cannot cope with the enormous population of the three slum communities in Monrovia.
In West Point, the largest of the three, Mr. Philip B. Wleh, 66, a fisherman said that for many years, persistent appeals have led authorities to address some of the numerous challenges.
But, fisherman Wleh noted, most of their appeals have only fallen on deaf ears and conditions in West Point continue to degenerate.
“It is our fervent prayer that one day the good Lord will speak to conscious-minded Liberians who will come to our rescue in this unbearable and poverty stricken community in Monrovia,” fisherman Wleh concluded.
For slum dweller Martha B. Beyan, 68, of Buzzy Quarters at the foot of Liberia’s Executive Mansion, their cries go out repeatedly, year after year, and nothing has been done.
Madam Beyan, a fishing basket maker, told the Daily Observer that she simply cannot understand why the authorities have chosen totally to ignore their cries.
“Maybe one day we need to take to the streets like political parties or civil society groups before we can be rescued from these poverty-stricken conditions in which we live, right before the authorities’ eyes,” Madam Beyan concluded.