5 June 2009

Liberia: Thousands Clean Up Monrovia Tomorrow

In line with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's April 27th Proclamation, declaring the first Saturday of each month 'Monrovia Clean-Up Day', thousands of Monrovians will today begin preparing for the exercise tomorrow.

Tomorrow being the first Saturday in June, if the President's proclamation is to be respected, crowded market areas and busy business centers will welcome massive cleaning activities in the early morning hours.

Areas covered by the Proclamation include Central Monrovia, Congo Town, ELWA-Juarzon, Paynesville, Mount Barclay Gardnersville and all Estates. Other areas include New Georgia, Pipeline Road, Bushrod Island, Caldwell, Hotel Africa Area, Lower Virginia, Brewerville and beyond.

On each Monrovia Clean-up Day, all public and private businesses in and round the city (excluding hospitals and other life saving institutions) and activities shall be closed for four hours beginning 6:00 O'Clock A.M. to 10:00 A.M, while all owners of businesses as well as all residents and citizens shall join in the community clean-up exercises, the proclamation stated.

All local and national Government authorities as well as business owners and residents within the Greater Monrovia Area (GMA) are requested to cooperate by leading and supporting the Monthly Clean-up Day of the Capital City and its environs.

The Proclamation which took effect on the first Saturday of May (May 3rd) will continue every other month.

During the first clean up day, President Sirleaf herself wore hand gloves and booths and joined thousands citizens in and around the capital they give the city a face lift. The exercise however could not realize its immediate purpose as millions of tons of garbage overwhelmed disposing capacities.

Huge piles of trash were left in street corners and crowded market places for days, some over a week, producing offensive looks and odor, before they were later cleared.

Whether appropriate mechanisms have been put into place to avoid or address challenges of the first Monrovia Clean up Day remains unanswered, but what remains sure is that more garbage will be generated tomorrow.

The head of the Special Presidential Taskforce to give Monrovia a facelift, Monrovia City Mayor designate 'General' Mary Broh and her teams have been roaming the city and its environs, breaking down 'illegal' structures and digging out garbage for the past several months.

She is no doubt set for tomorrow's action and more tears and cheers will characterize her cracking on perceived unfit structures and those erected against the zoning law of the city.

With an estimated population of 1.5 million inhabitants sandwiched in Monrovia, (half of the population of the entire country), Monrovia has resembled a polluted shantytown infested with crimes, crippling and fatal diseases. The post war capital play host to dilapidated and unpainted buildings, a crumbling infrastructure, human and animal feces, no modern sewer system, piles of eye-catching garbage, and no incinerator or sanitary landfills to dispose of the garbage collected.

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