U.S Ambassador to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy has alarmed that the state of cleanliness in the City of Monrovia does not compare to villages he lived in while working as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa.
Ambassador Michael McCarthy expressed dismay over the words of the city leadership on Monrovia Day in which a senior official lamented that no donor or external partner is funding the recurrent cost of solid waste collection and disposal.
Last month, the Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, lamented that waste management in Monrovia solely rests on the shoulders of the City Government with no aid coming from donors or external partners, unlike previous years.
In an Op-ed written in commemoration of Joseph Jenkins Roberts’ 213th birth anniversary, the Ambassador said “I Wonder if Liberia’s first president would have imagined that, 175 years after independence, foreigners should be held responsible for the removal of garbage in his capital city”?
In October 2021, the Head of the European Union Delegation and Ambassador to Liberia stated that Monrovia is a disgusting city, it is a dirty city. Of all the capitals he has seen in Africa, Monrovia is the dirtiest. The statement was later retracted following criticisms.
Mr. McCarthy at the same time expressed frustration over the lack of most basic drugs at hospitals and clinics in parts of the country despite the extra support to Liberia.
He described the situation as troubling, according to him, the Embassy investigations indicate that not only are some citizens diverting public medical resources and low-cost drugs for personal gain, but babies, young children, and birthing mothers are dying needlessly as a result.
“Sixty years after the arrival of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Liberia, 19 years after the end of the civil war crisis, and seven years after the eradication of Ebola, the taxpayers of the United States contribute to Liberia over $110 million per year of foreign assistance,” the American Ambassador asserted.
Amb. McCarthy informed the Liberian populace that “over USD$79 million per year have been donated to the health sector and approximately USD$9 million for purchasing medications and commodities for the Liberian people and improving the Ministry of Health’s effective distribution and warehousing of pharmaceuticals.”
Speaking on the issue of corruption, the U. S. Diplomatic named The U.S. House of Representative’s introduction of Resolution 907 on February 4 of this year, which encourages Liberia to redouble its efforts to counter corruption and advance the causes of human rights.
He mentioned that it also urges Liberia to implement critical economic reforms necessary to accelerate sustainable economic growth and human capital development.
Amb. McCarthy further called on the U.S. Treasury and State Departments to continue to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for undermining the rule of law and trust of the Liberian people through corruption, gross violations of human rights, and other acts that threaten the peace and security of Liberia.
The U.S Diplomat concluded, “how would Liberia’s first statesman feel to know that his country’s top ally was compelled to sanction members of Liberia’s government just to preserve rule of law and the democracy he helped establish?”
The Up-Ed comes at a time concerns are being raised concerning allegations of massive corruption, poor health system, and the filthiness of Monrovia under the stewardship of a youthful and Energetic Mayor, Jefferson Koijee.
Photo credit: U. S. Embassy Monrovia
Reported by: Joseph Daniels
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