Liberia: ‘Dig Ground to Dispose Garbage’ – Monrovia City Mayor Tells Residents
Monrovia – The Mayor of the city of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, is urging Monrovians to begin disposing off their garbage by burying them in the earth.
Report by Alline Dunbar, [email protected]
Mayor Koijee made the request at a press conference on Friday, May 31, following FrontPageAfrica’s Friday edition: ‘Filthy Monrovia.’
In that article, this newspaper reports how proper disposal of garbage is a major challenge to the city. Over the past few weeks, residues have taken over principal streets and every street corner in the capital. The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), which runs the city government says it is challenged financially and logistically to rid the city of the filth.
Sinkor’s 12th Street Cheeseman Avenue is almost covered, Clay Street intersection is almost swallowed by garbage, Buchanan and Carey Street intersection in the heart of the main city center, is also overflowing with dirt. Rally Town Market, Duala, amongst others are all being consumed by garbage.
The 12th Street residents said the garbage had not been collected by the Monrovia City Corporation for more than three to four weeks.
To get the problem apparently solved, Mayor Koijee is telling residents of the city: “Keep your wastes in your homes. But make sure if you want to remove them from you homes, please dig the ground and bury your dirt. We saying don’t bring them on the streets,” he added.
He warned that anyone caught disposing off wastes in already filled garbage bins, will be arrested by the Monrovia City Police.
“If we catch you, beginning tonight, we will dispatch our police. We will see it as a crime. All of the transfer stations are filled; we are warning you to stay off.”
The Mayor noted that the city is faced with huge challenges; in order to mitigate the situation, his administration launched a pilot project gear towards, what he called “the collection of primary wastes.”
“And we [have] said to you day in and day out that the issue of wastes is not an individual busy or a single institution’s business. It must be treated as a collective approach because if it is not treated in such a manner, the consequences is [are] deadly,” he warned.
Mayor Koijee argues and justifies that the garbage are not produced by him or workers of the MCC rather, directly by the inhabitants in the city of Monrovia.
“We are saying to you, when you get to the skip bucket and it is filled, why take the wastes and place them on the streets? You think that when you placed them there, you trying to bother the Mayor? You are affecting the entire community. Now, you say ‘No way for car to pass,’” he stated, sheepishly.
The Mayor even questioned the integrity of those who when passing by the over-flowing garbage, take their handheld devices to broadcast live on the Internet. According to him, those Liberians themselves are affected in the reproach that comes back and not him as Mayor, also “It is an injury that suffers the country and the city in particular.”
He categorically stated that as Mayor, he is not going to leave his office and get into the streets to clean people’s homes for them. “I will stay right in my office and play a supervisory role,” he emphasized.
“And nobody should be thinking that ‘Look Koijee will get up one morning and come my way to clean up this city or will get four bulldozers behind him and march into the community.’ No. I don’t have to do that. I will remain here with a bow tie and coordinate and tell the citizens what is appropriate to do,” Mayor Koijee said arrogantly. According to him, his style of leadership is “participatory” and he tries to get the community involved with the running of the affairs of the city and for them to be informed of the “consequences of their carelessness.”