Thursday, November 12, 2009

Health harzard hits Paynesville

Residents of Paynesville City especially the “Red Light Market” Community have alarmed that there would be an imminent outbreak of disease if nothing is done by the Unity Party led Government to clear stock piles of garbage that is gradually overtaking the entire market ground.

“We’re dying here slowly from the garbage especially the disgusting odors all over the place and we don’t have anywhere to go and sell or to get extra money to feed our families, except these little things that we’re selling here,” a marketer said.

“We want the government to come to our aid, because it seems that people are taking advantage of the situation to be throwing dead babies and other dangerous wastes that are very risky to our health”, said an elderly woman, Madam Korpo Sumo.

Madam Sumo was seen by our reporter preparing commercial food (locally known as ‘cook bowl’), just a stone through from the stock pile of garbage.

“The government, through the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) headed by Madam Mary Broh lied to us, they told us to dump the dirt here that they (MCC) will collect same at the end of each day, which they started, but to our surprise and disbelieves, for the past almost three months the MCC stopped and the dirt is gradually coming to close/block the road (road that links Paynesville to the Free Port of Monrovia through the Somalia Drive).

The government people (officials) can pass here every day in their big-big cars, while we are here getting sick small-small (gradually), they don’t care about us”, 23 year-old Prince Emmanuel Sackie, standing close to the garbage selling cosmetics in a wheelbarrow, who appeared very frustrated over the apparent failure of government to continue the World Bank and other partners funded garbage collection project, noted.

Our reporter who visited the scene of garbage observed that the garbage, located in the middle of the market, where marketers and costumers including children were seeing transacting and at some point in time, eating is gradually turning into a hill with a very sickening odors in the entire surroundings.

It was also noticed that at same instances, people were seeing walking over the garbage that if not collected with in the next couple of days would block/close the Paynesville to Free Port road as means of having access to the market and the both Somalia Drive and Tubman Boulevard bus terminals.

When contacted, the Secretary General of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Paynesville branch, Kullie Kollie admitted that the garbage is posing serious health hazard to, not only those in the market but the entire community, which he said, the MCC has already been notified through written communication.

Mr. Kollie said, although the opening of the dump sit in the middle of the market by the authorities of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) was done with the consent and input of the local LMA authorities, but is proposing the options to the sit relocated or the MCC assign security on the sit to avoid the dumping of other harmful substances by community dwellers themselves.

He said prior to the opening of the dump sit by the MCC with the intent of clearing it at the end of each day, the LMA had an assigned dump sit where all of its garbage cleared from the market were carried by same hired personnel every day to avoid stock paled of garbage in the market and other street corners.

The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) is among other things responsible for city ordinance, enforcement of the city zoning laws, ensuring city cleanness etc., while the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) is responsible for the governance of market grounds, including sanitary conditions, collection of garbage among others.

The LMA collects on a daily bases, unspecified amount of fees and dues from marketers across the country.

When our reporter visited the Offices of the MCC for comment on the matter, the head of the Garbage Collection Project (name not disclosed) was said to have been out, but MCC sources blamed the delay in the garbage collection project to, what they called ‘breakdown’ of the garbage collection trucks.

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