No Holiday Relief From Foul Dumpsites?

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Garbage piles outside Goodwill Clinic, Red Light Market.

“Hold your nose and pass” from Red Light to ELWA Junction

With the discomfort of the intense heat of the dry season ramping up temperatures above 90 degrees, residents of Monrovia and Paynesville are enduring the added irritation of the foul smell of the huge, disgusting garbage piles “decking” the roadway from Red Light to ELWA junction.

All entry points to the nation’s largest food market, Gobachop at Red Light in Paynesville, have been overrun by sprawling dumpsites, the happy breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes, roaches, rats plaguing the market and nearby communities.

About two weeks to Christmas – the biggest celebration of the year, residents, businesses and visitors to Paynesville and its environs are bracing up to carry out their festivities in the midst of depressing spectacles of heaps of garbage.

Most of the major markets situated in the heart of the two urban cities are being swallowed by several-weeks-old garbage uncollected from authorized dumpsites by sanitation companies.

Unending complaints from business houses, residents and visitors continue to either fall on deaf ears or are ignored by the leaders of the two municipal governments of the two cities.

Such complaints point to the fact that the mechanisms being used by the contracted sanitation companies are yet to yield any fruitful results since 2006.

Many commentators pointed out that appropriate urban planning relating to proper and sustainable garbage collection and disposal are not being implemented in Monrovia and Paynesville.

Such uncoordinated waste disposal, and the poor management of garbage collection, has led to the enormous sanitation crisis and challenges in these cities to the extent that their environments have been overwhelmed.

Indeed, the environmental conditions of the two urban cities are playing host to deadly agents such as scorpions, rodents and mosquitoes that continue to pose serious challenges to the already weak and overstretched health system of the country.

Sadly, we are yet to see practical indications from the municipal governments of Monrovia and Paynesville on what kinds of preparation are being made to collect and dispose of the offensive garbage piles from all parts of the two densely populated cities before the Christmas holidays.

However, the two city mayors have argued on many occasions that residents and some business entities do not want to be established Community Based Enterprises under the auspices of the two corporations.

In counter arguments, business entities and residents noted that two city governments continue to collect annual municipal taxes and other fees but are yet to make use of the funds for the intended purposes.

In separate interviews, business owners and residents of Monrovia and Paynesville stressed the urgent need for a more proactive approach to the collection and disposal of garbage from the two Montserrado County cities.

Businessman Francis M. Seyon, 55, a dealer of used clothes at Waterside Market in Monrovia told the Daily Observer that the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) must take practical steps such as the collection of the garbage every day in all parts of the city.

“I must emphasize that the old system of garbage collection and disposal by the sanitation companies and the MCC has not achieved any useful results; the old system needs urgent evaluation in order to keep our city clean,” he stressed.

Cook-shop operator Elizabeth G. Kolleh, 44, pointed out that the MCC must work with residents and small business entities for the collection and disposal of garbage from critical spots in Monrovia and its environs.

She also underscored the need for the enforcement of all city ordinances that have to do with sanitation and environmental regulations in all parts of Monrovia; not preferential treatments to big businesses.

“As a cook-shop operator, I want my business area to be kept clean, and this is the reason I want the MCC people to work with us in order to keep our city clean,” she suggested.

Businessman Johnnie B. Philips, 57, a cement and rice retail and wholesale dealer at the Red Light Market stressed the need for the funds being collected by the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) to be used for garbage collection and disposal.

He, however, expressed fear that from all indications they might celebrate the upcoming Christmas surrounded by mountains of garbage.

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