City Hall Cries For Help

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 2, 2004

The lack of adequate funding is said to be hampering the smooth operations of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) in its strive to make Monrovia a garbage-free city.

Making the disclosure to newsmen on Monday, City Mayor Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah attributed the unpleasant sight of garbage in the streets that posing serious health hazards in areas in the Liberian capital, to the MCC’s financial and logistical impotence.

The city government’s chief executive averred that the MCC lacks the capacity to handle the huge garbage problem facing Monrovia and as such, has deemed it necessary to send out an SOS call to the NTGL, UNMIL, USAID, the international community, friendly organizations and institutions, and friends of Liberia to come to assist by providing financial and/or logistical means in a bid to make Monrovia a clean and healthy place.

With the adequate provision of financial and logistical assistance, Mrs. Saytumah noted MCC will be strengthened to handle the garbage and sanitation problems which have the propensity to pose a serious health hazard in the capital.

Mrs. Saytumah said the US$25,000 allotted to MCC in the Central Government’s budget is very little to handle the huge problem faced by the City Government. She then made a passionate appeal to NTGL to consider an increment of its allotment in the next fiscal budget. She said MCC needs about US$7 million per annum to execute its statutory mandate in Monrovia. She also complained about the difficulty the corporation undergoes to receive its entitled funding from the Ministry of Finance.

Expounding further on the garbage problem in the city, Mayor Saytumah squarely blamed the public for the piles of dumps in the streets, attributing same to the lack of education. She used the occasion to appeal to the international community, UNICEF and other relevant UN agencies to assist in the printing of educational materials such as flyers to sensitize the public about the dumping of garbage in Monrovia.

“We need to educate our people on how and when to dispose of garbage. It is unlawful for people to just dump their garbage at anytime and anywhere, there is law governing that. We need to educate our people, institutions and business entities on the payment of garbage fees, they need to pay small fees for their garbage. But we don’t have the means to properly educate the public, so we are appealing to our partners and friends to help us in this campaign,” Mrs. Saytumah asserted.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Saytumah says the filthiness of market places in town is due to the Liberia Marketing Association’s huge indebtedness to MCC.

She said LMA owes the City Government in the tune of L$390,000 and so the corporation has suspended the cleaning of the market places until full payment of the debt is settled. She also warned the LMA leadership to put its house in order and begin holding talks with MCC about the lands where market buildings have been “illegally” constructed, adding, “the lands market buildings are illegally constructed on are for the City Government, and LMA should see reason to start talking with us, or else we will use legal means to get back our lands.”

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.