Liberia: Breaching Health Protocol at “The Waterfall” On “Fantastic Sunday”
Careysburg – ‘The Waterfall,’ a tourist site located in Lower Montserrado, has become the new site for social gathering for many around Montserrado County, since government pronouncement of various health regulations to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic.
Since the government’s pronouncement against social gathering which prompted the closure of beaches, the site is now being used by hundreds of partygoers mostly from rural Montserrado County. They gathered there every Sunday to merry-make and have dubbed it the day “Fantastic Sunday.”
The sound of music coming from huge speakers mounted at several locations serve the purpose of entertaining those who usually gather at the natural environment – beautiful site that has streams surrounding flat rocks.
Aside from the area being congested with crowd of adults, some minors were also spotted swimming in the creek.
“The Waterfall” is located in Careysburg Community, attracting revelers from Fendall, Mount Barclay and several other communities.
It is located several miles away from the main Monrovia-Kakata highway and one has to walk several miles through bushes to reach the site.
Walking to ‘The Waterfall’ all alone appears risky for first time vistor, because you hardly see security officers along the route.
The area, according to Milton Dwado, a regular attendant, “The waterfall is the boundary between three towns, King Farm, Wades Town and Walker Farm, and the place is nice, so we come here on Sunday to enjoy ourselves.”
Another person, spotted in a social beach wear, Cynthia Hinneh, describes the place as a “good tourist site and since water is flowing from all beneath the rocks, we come her to swim, dance and take pictures on the rock every Sunday.”
“Beaches are closed and this place is all the way in the corner and since it will not be easy for security to come here to remove us, we come to enjoy ourselves,” she added.
When asked about the health implications gathering in crowds poses amid COVID-19, Ruth Carson responded: “We know that government stopped people from going on beaches and social gathering, but I don’t think something bad will happen to every one of us because we’ve been coming here and this is not the first Sunday, you can see the crowd for yourself. Not only young people here, but older people are also here as well. Even some security personnel come to enjoy themselves here.”
Apart from the overcrowding of the site, FrontPageAfrica also observed some minors swimming within the stream that surrounds the site.
Mariah Ville, a lady in her 40s, who was also among those at the site noted that prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, several students attending high schools in the area are seen in their numbers at the site on Fridays during regular school hours.
Meanwhile, FPA also spotted Montserrado County Senator Saah H. Joseph right at the entrance of the site, while he was already leaving.
In a brief chat, the senator, told FrontPageAfrica that he had gone to “pay a visit at the site”.
It is not clear whether the senator observed social distances rules or not, while at the ‘waterfall, but his presence in such gathering raised serious concerns as a state actor, when the Ministry of Health regulations on social gathering is still being enforced.
Majority of those at the site were without noisemask and had no regard for the social distances rules, which is a major public health regulations declared by the government in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 that has already affected 265 person as of May 26, in the country.