3 March 2018

Liberia: Pres. Weah, MCC Launch 'Weah for Clean City' Campaign

Monrovia — President George Manneh Weah and his wife, First Lady Clar Marie Weah, Saturday, March 3, downed themselves in overall suits and joined Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, to launch the rebranding of the famous 'Mary Broh Saturday.'

The first Saturday of March and all other first Saturdays of every month now dubbed 'Weah for Clean City,' saw other government officials, including Defense Minister Daniel Zainkan, enlisting in the President's cleanup campaign exercises.

According to our reporter who followed the President and entourage on the campaign on Saturday, despite the rebranding, in the absence of the city ordinance law, the cleaning-up exercise is of no use.

When Madam Broh was Acting Mayor of Monrovia, she made Liberians, especially residents of Monrovia, to get used to cleaning up their surroundings on the first Saturday of every month. As the exercise continued on this day, Liberian just coined the day after her as "Mary Broh Day or Saturday."

She had the backing of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who joined her on a number of occasions to help clean the city.

Madam Broh also succeeded in persuading business owners to have their business houses closed on ever first Saturday, until by 10 a.m. before opening their doors to the public.

The new administration of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) appears to be zealous to make the city clean and green but with every law of the city ordinance silence such beautification cannot be actualized.

Almost every sidewalk in the city has being occupied by vendors selling varieties of stuffs, including sugar cane.

According to Section 2a of the City Ordinance, the selling of foodstuff on the street, sidewalk or through government offices within the city is strictly prohibited.

To keep the city clean, Section 2a of the City Ordinance Law states that the selling of edible items such as bananas, corn, cassava, peanuts, sugarcane, avocados (butter pear), coconuts, candy, cigarettes, chewing gums, fish and other seafood are banned.

Nowadays, many vendors are seeing selling from cook-food to a variety of stuffs on streets. To also make the day appears meaningless there is hardly a garbage bin in the city of Monrovia.

The city ordinance law has been dormant for years but with the new young and energetic City Mayor, Koijee officiating the first "Weah for Clean City" initiative everyone will love to see the ordinance law put in place.

The former City Mayor, Madam Broh, during whose administration the day was branded, also joined Mayor Koijee, the President and his wife Clar in rebranding the day.

Addressing the media at the launch of the initiative at the Rally Town Market on March 3, Pres. Weah said Mayor Koijee made him to nostalgically go back memory lane when he was a teenager.

"For a very long time, I have not picked-up dirt but today I am honored and proud to do that; to clean our city," the Liberian leader said.

President Weah continued: "Cleaning our city, and our environment is important, therefore we are going to support this initiative to make sure that every quarter is clean and green, so we can be healthy".

Despite the many efforts put into this initiative, the selling of foodstuffs has caused more filth to litter the streets every day.

The city's daily cleaners are insufficient for the amount of dirt that is left on the streets every week day.

Of recent, sugarcane is the latest commodity to make its way into the city center.

Street peddlers especially women are seeing in the streets peeling sugarcanes.

Nancy Doe, 28, a mother of two said selling sugarcane is what she and her two children depend on for survival.

Ms. Doe, who is a resident of West Point, Liberia's largest slum community in the city of Monrovia, told this newspaper that she makes more money from selling sugarcane on the streets.

She uses a very sharp knife to slice off the outta shell of the cane where ever she stops to rest in the city center.

"Any dirt I make here; I have my big blue plastic bag that I can put all my dirt in," she said pointing to the plastic bag hanging on one handle of the wheelbarrow she was pushing.

Doe added: "It is not easy, we don't have things to do. I cannot sell sugarcane in the market building because people will not buy it."

Although Doe said that she always cleans her dirt before she leaves a particular spot she had been stationed for a while; an employees of the City Corporation only known as Ma Zoe, who helps clean various streets in Monrovia, said the people who are selling foodstuff in the streets are giving them tough time in cleaning the streets.

"When you go so, sugarcane dirt, and when you come so, cool water plastics. When you clean the place, you come back you will see dirt," Ma Zoe said.

James Wolo, a passerby, told FrontPage Africa that MCC needs to put in place a system that will stop the selling of foodstuff in the streets.

He also called for garbage bins adding that without any garbage bin in the streets the people with have nowhere to place their dirt but to drop it anywhere in the street.

He added: "Let the new City Mayor do something about this street selling business. MCC needs to put more garbage bins in the streets to stop people from dropping dirt in the streets."

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