Water Plastic Clogs Drains, Promotes Flooding

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Public Works Minister Gyude Moore has complained that the increasing amount of water plastic thrown around the city ends up in gutters and contributes to the clogging of drains in Monrovia and heavy flooding every rainy season.
The Minister raised the concern to a team of Daily Observer reporters in an exclusive interview at his office last Tuesday.
The plastic waste is out of control to the extent that most people intentionally dump empty water bags into the open drainages, not taking into consideration the consequences.
He said until this behavior is abolished, drainages will always be clogged in Monrovia and flooding will occur, taking people from their homes and making them sick of waterborne diseases.
Water bagging was introduced to Liberia right after the war, and one of the first companies to begin producing mineral water in plastic bags is Aqua Life, which has now also transitioned to bottling.
Since its introduction, water bagging has become a lucrative business that many are engaged in, producing “Mineral water” in various locations that in some instances are unhygienic.
A bag of water is sold for LD5, and when buyers drink, they drop the empty plastic either in the open drainage or on the street. Also, sellers of bagged water after sweeping their surroundings feel they have no option but to dump the plastics into a nearby drainage.
Although bagged water is in one way a blessing, since pipe borne water is scarce in the capital, the proliferation and handling of empty plastic bags, according to Minister Moore, is seriously harming the environment.
In addition to dumping plastic wastes into drainages, Minister Moore said people have also built on drainages, a factor that also leads to flooding in Monrovia.
This, he said was done during the war years because during the long civil war people flocked into Monrovia from all parts of the country by the hundreds of thousands. Soon, Monrovia, which was built to accommodate 450,000 people became overwhelmed with a population that quickly escalated to now 1.3 million.
Many people, believing that due to the war the government might not come in with development plans soon and there was nowhere to live, people started building in drainage ways, alleys and streets Minister Moore said.
He said the Ministry of Public Works still maintains its plan to clean the drainages during the dry season and those who have houses or make-shift structures over drainages should expect their tears to roll as there will be no compromise with anyone who blocks drains, alleys and streets with their structures.
He added that many a time when government comes out with a decision that will be a help to everyone, affected people will run to their lawmakers for intervention, and the lawmakers will prevent the implementation of the decision.
“These are people who go to other countries and see and appreciate the level of development there, but when they return to Liberia, the whole story is changed. “Development does not come easy,” the youthful Minister stated. “If we want development, we must be willing to make the sacrifice,” Minister Moore insisted.

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