-Mayor Jefferson Koijee
By David A. Yates and Alvin Worzi
Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee has described waste management as a serious potential national security threat, which requires every citizen’s approach head-on to restore sanity.
Moreover, Koijee said improper disposal of waste is a national security threat, which requires a set of holistic approaches anchored on firm community engagement.
He referenced the rapid spread of the 2014 outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which he said can be traced to the fundamental challenge of waste management in Monrovia and other cities around the country.
Koijee pointed out that no other time is better than now for community stakeholders in environment and waste management sectors to develop a sustainable plan to address the waste menace.
He spoke on Friday, November 16, at the Monrovia City Hall when he formally opened a two-day Waste Management Conference in Monrovia.
The conference was held under the theme, “Building Synergy and Partnership for a Sustainable Approach Towards Solid Waste Management.” The two-day conference brings together stakeholders who will develop concerted plans that can serve as a long-term solution to solid waste management.
According to Mayor Koijee, those residing in Monrovia and surrounding areas need to dialogue for a lasting solution of cleaning the city.
He therefore wants all community leaders commit themselves to make Monrovia a clean city in line with acceptable environmental practices, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (#11) highlighting safe cities and sustainability.
Mayor Koijee informed delegates that his office will not hesitate to implement the outcome of the stakeholder’s dialogue, which talked about promoting a healthy, clean and green environment.
The conference brought together stakeholders, including international partners in the waste management sector, whose expertise is needed to help the MCC address solid waste challenges.
The Commissioner for Environment of Lagos, Nigeria, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, informed the participants that the fight against waste must be intensified not just in Liberia, but to promote a safe, clean, green and united Africa.
Adejare lauded the MCC for steps taking to solve improper waste disposal which, according to him, has become “a national embarrassment to the rest of Africa.”
Montserrado County Superintendent Florence Brandy cautioned community leaders to lead the campaign against garbage, stressing that improper waste disposal cannot be fought without citizens’ full participation.
Supt. Brandy pledged the county’s continuous support to working with authorities of surrounding cities and townships, to ensure that they are cleaned.
Participants reviewed and updated the current solid waste disposal mechanisms as well as brainstormed on best practices, and effective strategies to keep Monrovia clean.
Stakeholders and institutions invited for the conference assured Mayor Koijee of their commitment to promote a clean, green and safe city, which is part of CDC-led government’s “Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”