By Socrates S. Saywon
MONROVIA– It appears that there’s still a need for more and robust awareness to avoid using drainages as dumpsite in Monrovia and its environs.
A case in point is the biggest drainage located in the Soniwein Community in central Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. 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 as a result of 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 the issue community sanitation is improved, efforts by government are being undermined by its own people.
The filthy sanitary condition in the Soniwein Community in Central Monrovia in other environs is becoming a health crisis for residents of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital..
The Soniwein drainage is being 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.
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 being used as a reservoir to dispose all sorts of trash from the community and marketers and opened defecation is occurring alongside the drainage ranging from the Center and Lynch Streets side of the drainage.
Feces can be seen in the inner walls of the drainage, a situation that is being described as uncivilized by one of the residents, interviewed.
Despite the filthiness of the drainage which adjacent one the city’s busiest market (the Rally Time Market), Marketers can be seen transacting normal business in the area and some eat near the drainage.
Residents of the Soniwein Community interviewed, are calling on the government to put in place measures to clean and keep the drainage in the area clean at all times.
The residents suggest 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 a the health benefit to lways keep the drainage clean.
The Residents also want people to be informed about the health problems involved if the drainage remains filthy.
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.
Some residents are calling for the covering or casting of the drainage with concrete.
“When the drainage is sealed up, it will serve as a lasting solution to the ongoing issue of drainage misuse”, a resident said.
The residents are calling on Representative Acarous Gray who represents the district in the Liberian Legislature and relevant agencies of government to ensure that immediate action is taken to clean up the drainage and keep it clean at all times.
The Soniwien Community is within electoral district #8 and is represented in the Liberian Legislature by a one time political and uncompromising opposition provocateur, Rep Acarous Gray who has been accused by his constituents of squandering his constituency Ebola funds allocated to the community to fight the Ebola virus but diverted the funds into his personal account and used for personal benefit.
Rep. Gray represents Liberia’s biggest political party, the CDC where he served as Secretary General before going into the Legislature but has gone silent fearing of being impeached from the House of Representatives, as he told a friend when he was asked about his silence in the Legislature.
Representative Gray seat is up for re-election in October this year and several persons are also vying for his seat.