Smythe Institute Students Complain of Stench Conditions

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Monrovia – Sanitation is one of the major problems facing the capital city, Monrovia and other cities in the country.

According to Water Aid $60.5 million will be needed over the next two years to provide safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene education to the 2,500 schools in Liberia currently without access to these basic services.

Water Aid is part of a coalition of NGOs that will be working closely with the Liberian Government to put water-points and hand washing facilities in 1,800 schools and latrines in a further 1,300.  Hygiene education will also be provided to every student in the country.

The appeal for water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in schools comes as nations and international organizations continue to pledge their support to the rebuilding of Liberia.

The Ministry of Health, Environmental Protection and the Liberia Water and sewer are some of the responsible authorities in tackling and improving water and sanitation in Liberia but many citizens say that nothing has been done so far to improve the living conditions of citizens.

At the intersection of 16th Street hosting the Smythe Institute of Management and Technology, a tertiary institution of learning, between Cheeseman and Coleman Avenue, a sewage line is situated pouring feces and liquid as the entire surrounding is smells very offensive with stench over the school campus.

Many passersby and those situated there are seen with clothes covering their nose to control the smell of the feces. During a FrontPageAfrica visit at the campus of the Smythe Institute some of the students narrated the unpleasant smell from the sewage.

According to them the sewage line has been polluting the area for a month now something they expressed regret over the failure of the regulatory authorities to control such stench. Nathaniel Gokpolu- says the institution has health related programs such as nursing and wonders why such odor will take over the institute.

He adds that they have been trying avenues to stop such odor but all mechanisms have proven unsuccessful, “this should be a primary concern to the Government, this sanitation problem is a major problem to us as students”, he says.

“We have a student union and an Administration and we realize that this is a health hazard, we have liaised with the regulatory authority to pull out the feces from the manhole or just try and do something for the odor to stop, we have realized that the semester has open and it is an issue to the administration”, the student added

Varlee Korlleh, another student also expressed anger over the situation. “Looking at the situation of the sanitation not too far from our campus, it is embarrassing for the fact that the institution has 95 percent health related programs and now the toilet water running up and down, most of the students are complaining and some of them, I think will change their school, the Government vehicle pass and see the danger to the school and I do not know if they are hoping on the institution to carry on the sewage hauling”. He believes the regulatory authority should solve the problem and not leave it to the school.

“But I think that the regulatory authorities should look at such issue, we are student and cleanliness is next to Godliness and our school is not in a state of cleanliness, we have the student center that is not far from the toilet water and many of the students cannot sit there due to the pollution and is very much serious that must be tackled” he stated.

A Nursing student Garmai Gayflor in an angry tone stated, “The feces scent is really disturbing us and I can tell you this not the first time, my instructor had to suspend two of my classes because of the odor from the road, we also had to put towels to our nose before his suspension of classes because it could not help.

“Just from today, it is not helping the students, surrounding and drivers along with passengers because if someone is selling food around here their food wouldn’t be sold because no one wants to inhale feces odor while eating”, says Garmai.

“The scent is not encourage-able, our medical environment is not already good, we just left the Ebola crises and we haven’t gone year yet, I think that the Government been unfair to us, they will tell us no money, but their cars and Children lives don’t speak that they don’t have money, the little things must be tackled by the Government,” Tonia Anderson, a passerby told FPA.

Kerbeh Kessellie, a health science student, added ”the students are embarrassed, it is not nice, no drainage, the country must be developed more and stop eating the money, look at Government officials charge for  corruption, they need to focus on the country welfare and avoid eating the country’s money.”

“We are just trying to manage it because I can’t close down my business because my family has to survive and I need to make life, those responsible should have taken charge of it or else it will lead to another health hazard because right across, is a nursing institution who knows the danger of pollution and all I have to say is that you should harass them to fix this place or else it might cause problem for the community dwellers and we the business people” says Austin Lewis, money changer.

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