Since the expiration of the Monrovia Emergency Urban Sanitation Project sponsored by the World Bank, the timely removal of garbage in Monrovia and its environs has become a major nightmare for residents in the capital and surroundings.
Stockpiles of garbage can been seen all over the main streets thus causing serious health hazard for residents in the city.
The methodology adopted by the EMUS project was unique at the time because of the huge funding from the World Bank.
The frame work calls for residents to bring the waste at the edge of the main street where it could be picked-up for deposit at its final destination at the Whein Town sanitation site in Paynesville.
This method was adopted due to the lack of free passage into communities to collect garbage.
So the alternative of bringing the dirt to the face of the main street at the time worked greatly for the EMUS project.
Since the expiration of the project, the major challenge for authorities responsible for the removal of garbage in various communities has become the timely removal of the huge piles of dirt in areas designated as pick-up points.
Both Marketers and residents, including pedestrians in these areas where the dirt has been deposited have complained that the prolong stay of the dirt is causing serious health problems for them.
The condition according to some residents of these affected areas, is serving as a conduit for the spread of diseases in these areas.
The affected residents and marketers disclosed that some unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the situation of the protracted stay of the garbage to bury dead bodies, especially bodies of infants.
A case in point, is the recent discovery of a dead baby among the dirt in the commercial district of Red Light where thousands of marketers troop on a daily basis to carry out business activities.
Pedestrians, marketers and residents of these communities have complained about the appalling sanitary condition which has created an unhealthy environment for them.
Marketers are especially the ones that are bearing the pinch of the poor sanitary condition at the various market sites.
These marketers on the daily basis are seen sitting, eating and transacting business in an environment where heap of refuge dump is deposited.
When asked how they feel sitting in dirt while transacting business? “We have nowhere to sell”, they will always respond.
The concerned residents and Marketers are calling on authorities responsible for sanitation to ensure that the enabling condition is created for their health and safety.
Poor sanitation is said to be the second leading cause of poor health.
Pathogens that affect individuals as a result of poor sanitation occur in so many ways, those occurred through water includes water-borne diseases, water dispersed infection and many others, which result in diseases such as cholera, and other water related diseases.
Access to improved sanitation is a challenging issue among developing countries. This is because the governments are not able to meet the sanitation needs of urban centers which experience rapid increase in their population.
Thousands of children suffer from nutritional and educational problems which come as a result of diarrhea disease. The most frequently cited or referenced diseases as a result of poor sanitation in most urban communities are cholera, dysentery, scabies, skin diseases, eye problems, typhoid, and intestinal parasite (ibid).
Improved sanitation practices seek to promote dignity and status, women security, and ensure children’s safety and comfort.
Hope the government of Liberia and international partners can act now, as Monrovia and its environs are now facing serious sanitation crisis due to stockpiles of garbage on main streets, market places and communities.