Poor sanitation costs Liberia 17.5 million US Dollars each year, according to a desk study carried out by the Water and Sanitation Program (WPS).
One community that has been struggling with the problem of sanitation for a long time is Newport Street in Central Monrovia.
A dilapidated building houses dirt instead of people. The dirt is about to take over the sidewalk. Across the road from the dirt is a young man selling roasted uncovered cow meat. Few steps away, a woman fries fish, plantain, and chicken.
Two minutes’ walk away a septic tank has bust opened right before the Newport Junior and Senior High School. The waste from the broken septic tanks creates a foul odour and a party for disease carriers such as mosquitoes, crock roaches, and flies.
“We highly set outside to eat our food due to bad odour and big green flies that sit on our food.” one of the residents of Newport Street narrated.
Jacob is one of the hundreds of people living on Newport Street who have to go to work early and come home late to avoid the sanitation problem in his community.
Michael Johnson is the head of a local sanitation team in the community. His organization has been involved with the collection of garbage in the community. However, the problem goes beyond just the collection of the dirt.
“Ocean is a community-based organization that helps to collect garbage in the community with a minimum cost but is also challenged in disposing of the garbage we collect.” Johnson narrated.
Johnson blames the Liberia Water and Sewage Cooperation for not playing its role
effectively although they pay their taxes every week.
“We call on LWSC to step up to their games. We cannot be located in the Diplomatic setting in Central Monrovia and the place is filthy like this.” Mr Johnson noted.
In communication with LWSC, the Communication Director Nixon Todd said, the community is responsible for the situation on going there.
“We sent our field crowd to the Newport street community on a daily and weekly basis, but the people have their own problems. They throw dirt into the gutters and clot the swage line.” Todd lamented.
Liberia remains at the bottom 10 of all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in access to basic sanitation according to (WSP). The situation seems hopeless as both the community and the Liberia Water and Sewer Cooperation put the responsibility for the problem on one another.
Reported by: G. Watson Richards
Contact: +231 880381808/+231775807140