Waterside, one of Monrovia’s crowded business districts, has been overtaken by human and animal feces (pupu) from an old leaking septic tank.
Sadly, hundreds of petty traders and medium size Liberian and foreign businesses have no choice but to endure the horrible smell and unsightly “pupu water” running down the street all day during the busiest shopping season of the year.
The scene of the leaking septic tank at Waterside General Market has been described by some sanitation workers as a serious health and environmental hazard.
Initially, businesspeople were hesitant to come face to face with the feces-infested street, owing to the unhygienic nature and health implications.
But, during a visit to Waterside yesterday, it was observed that the petty traders, street vendors and foreign merchants were ignoring the stinking odor and carrying on with business as usual. A few shoppers could be seen covering their noses.
Year in and year out, the Waterside commercial district has continued to endure daunting sanitation and environmental problems due to filth and nasty water from greater Monrovia’s poorly maintained septic tanks and gutters.
Many of Monrovia’s gutters are clogged and the bulk of garbage and other waste are carried to the slum communities.
Residents and business owners in those affected communities are alarmed by the situation but over the years nothing has been done to address the growing sanitation crisis in spite of their endless complaints and appeals.
They lament that the leaking septic tank at this time of the year when the Christmas and New Year celebrations are days away is unfortunate and unacceptable.
Several vendors and store owners interviewed sounded urgent appeals to the Liberian Government and partners for swift intervention in the sanitation problem.
“We are really fed up asking for the permanent repair and maintenance of this leaking septic tank in this big business place near downtown Monrovia,” street vendor Clarence B. Jallah lamented.
Mr. Jallah also expressed grave concern over the unsanitary conditions business people have to operate in down Waterside.
Small businesswoman Hawa B. Tengbeh, 56, called on the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) to immediately deal with the situation and prevail on the septic tank owners to repair the damaged facility in order to avoid the outbreak of water and insect borne diseases.
In a related development, other angry and frustrated residents called on the LWSC management to work out some concrete modalities with the septic tank owners for immediate repairs to be done.
When contacted for comment, LWSC management told the Daily Observer that a solution is being worked out to remedy the grave sanitation crisis in the Waterside business district.
It remains to be seen if street vendors, market women with their babies, business houses and shoppers down Waterside will get any relief from the stench and filth anytime soon. In the meantime, as they say, hold your nose and pass.