LIBERIA: Filthiness of Biggest Drainage Poses Health Threat Soniwein Residents call for Intervention

By: WASH R&E “Media” Network

Stockpile of Garbage in the Soniwein Drainage

It appears that there’s still a need for more and robust awareness to avoid using drainage as dumpsite in Monrovia and its environs.

A case in point is the biggest drainage located in the Soniwein Community in Monrovia.  Some residents in the community are persistently using the drainage as dumpsite.

A team of WASH Reporters visited the Soniwein Community to find out how the drainage in the area is posing serious health hazard to community dwellers there, since it was cleaned last year under the initiative of former Monrovia City Mayor, Mary Broh based on several reportage by the WASH Media Network.

Raising the profile of sanitation in the WASH sector of the country is becoming a serious challenge to the government of Liberia and WASH partners.

Despite several attempts by government to ensure that the issue surrounding sanitation is improved, efforts by government are been undermined by its own people.

Such is the issue now becoming a sanitation crisis in the Soniwein Community in Central Monrovia.

The Soniwein drainage had been used for a protracted period as dumpsite by unscrupulous residents in the community.

Some residents want the drainage sealed up as a means of avoiding people from using it as dumpsite while others are calling on government to punish anyone caught using the drainage for the disposal of garbage.

It can be recalled that last year the drainage was given a facelift by the former Monrovia City Mayor, Mary Broh who is now Director General of Government’s own General Services Agency (GSA).

Presently,the status of the drainage is very deplorable and unhealthy for residents in the area.

It is been used as a reservoir to dispose all sorts of trash from the community and marketers.

From our findings, it was observed thathigh level of open defecation is occurring alongside the drainage ranging from the Center and Lynch Street side of the drainage.

Feces can be seen in the inner walls of the drainage, a situation that is been described as uncivilized by one of the residents.

Marketers there can be seen transacting normal businesses in the area while at the same time eating even near the drainage.

Residents of Soniwein Community want government put in place measures in keeping the drainage in the area clean at all times.

The residents said government should embark on a robust awareness to educate residents about the importance of keeping the drainage clean at all times.

In an interview with the WASH Media, the residents said an awareness campaign would be the way forward in keeping the drainage always clean.

They want the full involvement and participation of the residents in the education and awareness of always keeping the drainage clean.

They also want people to be informed about the health problems involved if the drainage remains filthy all the time.

They indicated that filthiness of the drainage is posing serious health hazard to the community.

Some of the residents want government prosecutes anyone caught dumping dirt in the drainage.

They believe prosecuting people who are caught using the drainage as dumpsite will serve as deterrent to would be violators.

Meanwhile some residents are calling for the covering or casting of the drainage with concrete.

They believe that when the drainage is sealed up, it will serve as a lasting solution to the ongoing issue of drainage misuse.

Meanwhile, the residents are calling on their Representative Acariuos Gray and relevant agencies of government to ensure that affirmative action is taken in keeping the drainage clean at all times.

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About Cholo Brooks 15879 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.