-Residents believe struggle just beginning
When President George Weah got the chance to speak his mind on the economic struggle in the country, he was reported to have said that “the struggle of the people must end.”
And that is precisely why the residents of the slum community of Clara Town are asking: When?
Perhaps both residents and President Weah may be saying the same thing because they are hoping for the struggle of the people to end.
A visit to the community recently revealed that instead of ending the struggle, it is clear that for the majority of the poor, it is just beginning.
“Look over there,” a young woman pointed to a waterlogged enclosure of a zinc shack. “We live in water.” There was a pool of water that filled the small area leading to a couple of rooms.
There is a kind of makeshift bridge that residents use to get to their house and then into their rooms. The area emits an offensive odor but the people who live around there seem not to notice it or worry about any potential outbreak of any of the dangerous infectious diseases that many of the residents are aware of and have experienced.
“Typhoid is my sickness,” an old woman admitted to our reporter, although it would seem strange for her to claim that typhoid is “her” disease, meaning she experiences regular bouts of typhoid.
“I have lived in Clara Town for many years now,” she said, and that explains why she is comfortable to live with typhoid.
Across from where we stood, several kids were playing and they also appeared to be satisfied with what seems to be their lot.
“They are fine,” another said. “What else can or are they supposed to ask for?” There is a belief that fate decides whether or not one will battle a disease that cannot be cured and after all “something’s got to kill a person anyway.”
That belief perhaps explains why people living in this slum seem resigned to their fate of a life mired in poverty, almost hopeless so to speak, lacking confidence in themselves and their ability to transform their lives.
True, one admitted that there are several latrines built in the community which are hardly enough to satisfy demand. Additionally there are also what are known as “Hanging Toilets” in the community and also in nearby West Point Township. They are built along the banks but over the water where people ease themselves over the flowing stream where fishes flock to feed.
Later, fishermen would bring their catch from the very polluted streams to nearby markets, selling them cheaply to the poor.
Clara Town is part of Garglor Township that stretches from Vai Town, Gibraltar, Doe Community, and Logan Town.
The good news in Gibraltar is the current roofing of all houses mandated by President George Weah as his contribution to the uplift of the community.
Another is the President’s second mandate for the construction of a road leading into Doe Community.
But for the meantime, as the rains continue, houses and rooms are flooded and nearby gutters are also deluged. Many people in the township say that ending the struggle would demand more direct investment into communities that were built by the people on swamp land.