As a result of the years of civil conflict in Liberia, urban waste management has remained a major hurdle for the Liberian Government and sanitation companies.
Because of this, many Liberians view sanitation companies as enemies rather than the allies they were intended to be.
Many Liberians and environmentalists have pointed accusing fingers at sanitation companies contracted under the World Bank’s Urban Waste Management Program (UWMP) for poor strategies in garbage collection and disposal.
As a result, Monrovia continues to be plagued with numerous air and water borne diseases coupled with serious environmental pollution to the detriment of vulnerable Liberians.
Another side effect of sanitation challenges are scavengers of different categories often seen in desperate search of whatever they can find to eat or sell in order to survive.
“I usually visit the dumpsite because my financial conditions have declined to the extent that I have become a garbage scavenger. I have no other choice to feed my family of five children. My husband was killed during the war 18 years ago,” Mary Bledee of Slipway lamented.
One urban economic analyst told the Daily Observer in an interview that these are harsh times for many Liberians, especially those in the low income bracket.
Mr. Steve Sanvee Collins pointed out the World Bank and other stakeholders in the sanitation sector should redesign the current strategies being used in order to enhance the collection and disposal of garbage.
“When will sanitation companies change their strategies? They have not produced tangible results in terms of fast-track collection and disposal,” a resident of Soniewein said angrily.
Another resident, Mrs. Hawa Browne Ballah pleaded, “For the sake of our safety and protection from all diseases resulting from exposure to wastes, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should please work out effective plans concerning the sanitation crisis in Monrovia.”