Poor Sanitation, As Huge Garbage Consumes Liberian Capital

Poor sanitation in and around the city of Monrovia continues to be a problem, especially the collection and disposal of garbage.

Poor sanitation gives many infections the ideal opportunity to spread, plenty of waste and excreta for the flies to breed on, and unsafe water to drink, wash with or swim in, among human parasitic diseases.

Sanitation has important implications for health and human capital development. Poor sanitation causes intestinal diseases that reduce the absorption of calories and nutrients and contribute to malnutrition. These diseases kill babies, stunt the physical and cognitive development of surviving children, and ultimately reduce their human capital development and earning potential later in life.

Solid waste management is arguably the greatest public health threat in Monrovia. Virtually no waste management sector, along with a lack of proper toilets, means household trash, human feces, and hazardous medical waste is randomly disposed throughout the city, in some areas swelling to piles large enough to block roads.

Children walk barefoot through trash heaps, picking through piles that can contain used syringes and bloodied bandages.

There is a serious problem of hygiene in Monrovia as residents continue to throw waste, including feces in the streets, especially at crowded market sites.

This situation has become so embarrassing, because it does not only give a picture to an emerging health crisis, but gives the city poor human face.

Pedestrians usually struggle to move along the main streets crowded with stoke piles of garbage and moving vehicles as well.

Marketers and residents who are considered the producers of the garbage are always at the mercy of fate as they complain on a daily basis of poor sanitation.

Most of the garbage sites are polluted with offensive odor of stale water serving as a breeding place for flies and mosquitoes. Water accumulating at dumpsites is spilling into uncovered wells throughout the city.

WASH Journalists, as part of their Exclusive Media Focus on Sanitation are calling on the city government to design new strategies for the collection and disposal of garbage, especially dealing with waste management in a sustainable way.

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