Solutions to Increase in Trash Piles

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Du River (before)

By Ruvelle Jones

We must pay closer attention to the health crisis blooming right before our eyes. This is to say, the health of ALL citizens in Monrovia could be severely affected by the piles of trash throughout the city. Please understand it’s not only areas that have these mountains of garbage that are affected but everyone breathing the air. The growing incidents of Typhoid is proof of this because the air and water are polluted and very contaminated from trash being thrown in drainages that have not been cleaned since the 1970’s, on the streets or in the river.

Typhoid is only the tip of the iceberg, continued exposure can cause tuberculosis, bronchitis, respiratory problems, it affects a woman’s ability to give birth and cause many more cases of illnesses in children. Moreover, unattended waste attracts roaches, rodents, maggots, or pigeons, which in turn transmit a wide variety of different diseases they infect people with. When we say Liberia has a growing health crisis this is not hyperbole but a call to action now. We believe human life can be protected by preserving our environment. Take the Du River, not only is the shore chock full of trash, but the very river itself is choked with trash.

Du River (after)

If these piles of festering trash are not removed the negative ramifications are staggering; apart from dangerous health risks associated with being infected by many illnesses, the locals of Du River are unable to earn a living from fishing, neither can anyone use the river to cook, wash clothes or bathe. Therefore we want to help immediately.

The problem of proper waste management is a global one, most especially in poor communities. Therefore, two environmental nonprofits, Africa Environmental Watch, Inc. and the Liberia Emergency Disaster and Relief Fund, have partnered to develop a simple, straightforward, and sustainable strategy to aid communities in the proper disposal of waste.

Our model is simple; we want to clean the trash, and maybe later the river. Next, we want to properly dispose of trash. The success of the previous two steps to this plan depend on partnering with relevant government agencies to help in setting up large trash bins and to come up with workable solutions for regular trash pickup. Throughout these steps considerable effort has been dedicated to working with each community to raise awareness on the importance of environmental cleanliness.

Another crucial reason all efforts are made to clean the Du River is because it runs directly into the Atlantic Ocean.  The entire globe benefits from a healthy ocean, not only Liberia.  When our actions have a negative impact on a global level, the time for action is now.

We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to preserve and protect the health of the people in these communities. Yet our efforts must work in tandem not only with relevant governmental agencies but the community in order to uphold regulations and workable systems that will provide protection in a sustainable way.  If not, nothing we are doing will work. In conclusion, we have mapped out a simple and straightforward model that not only includes proper waste management of the Du River but are convinced our plan could work in any other community that needs help with trash piles.  We will be happy to come to your community to help with properly disposing trash. We are excited to be here and welcome your participation. Thank you, and please consider soberly the reality that environmental cleanliness is a life-or-death situation.

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