MONROVIA – General Services Agency (GSA) Director General Mary Broh has threatened to shut down any house she finds within Central Monrovia, without toilets.
Madam Broh, recently appointed by Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee as Chairperson, Citizen’s Engagement Board (CEB) said: “I am very serious about this. We will go from home to home and block to block; if there is no toilet in your house, we will close that house, fine the owner and send that person to the City Court. We are going to search every house in this city. We are going to implement the City Ordinance. City Ordinance #1 will be the order of the day and it will address all sanitation and environmental issues. I will also bring [the] EPA on board to do their work. Development comes with pain.”
Madam Broh, who is admirably nicknamed “General Broh” by Monrovians because of her work habits, was appointed by the City Mayor on October 21, 2021, to help clean the City of Monrovia for Liberia’s Bicentennial celebration, which begins in December 2021, marking 200 years since the freed slaves left New York and headed for Africa, landing in what is today Liberia in 1821.
Mayor Koijee’s letter to General Broh reads: “I extend warmest compliment and have the singular honor to appoint as the Chairperson of the Citizen’s Engagement Board, (CEB). Your appointment to CEB was done in consultation with the City Council and our decision to request your service in this regard is born of the fact that you have demonstrated strong values and leadership over the years which makes you an exemplary citizen. It is our ardent hope that you will bring such immeasurable qualities to bear as you serve on this board.”
Speaking exclusively to FrontPageAfrica, Madam Broh said the objective of the CEB is to ensure that the City of Monrovia is prepared for the Bicentennial celebration by implementing of an accelerated action plan that will seek to carry out massive cleaning up of the streets, neighborhoods, public places, beaches, waterfronts, cemeteries and drainages in the nation’s capital, Monrovia.
“We will also add Caldwell, because it plays an important part in 1822 when the settlers were arriving so that township is a very historical place. 130 communities have been targeted; over 1000 community residents will benefit from short-term hire services; Monrovia city will be beautified and decorated with an effective community-based mechanism coordinated for sustained long-term sanitation and urban planning,” she said.
She added, however, that the CEB might even ask the Lord Mayor for an extension of this exercise, which started this November 2021 and is expected to end on January 7, 2022. She disclosed that they began a little late because they were preparing the work plan.
“We want sustainability; we can’t do an exercise for only two to three months and then everything breaks down again. We do not want that. How do we sustain this program? It will be when we all sit and make it a routine service.”
On specific places that she and her entourage are expected to focus, “Mary Breakay ” as she is also known because of her hate for filths and shacks, pinned her attention on the Palm Grove Cemetery in the heart of city. She also stated that riverfronts, beaches and drainages are also other places that they are going to focus on.
Asked how she is going to be able to deal with the taskforce and her work at GSA, she answered: “I multitask all the time and I work seven days a week. I even run the COVID-19 vaccination platform which I supervised. So, it won’t be a problem for me. Mind you, I do not get pay from these jobs. In fact, why should the government compensate me? I do it for the love of my country. When I have a passion for something, I want to make sure it’s done. So, I want to make sure that this city is brought back to its old glory. At age 70, I have been doing this work for a long time.”
Touching on SAJJ Restaurant, which she had ordered closed because of a huge pile of garbage in their compound, she said: “How can you have a restaurant and keep the place so dirty? The place is moldy, dark, dingy and filthy. When I saw the garbage, I nearly threw out. It is be very important that health inspectors should go and inspect these places, as it was done when I was growing up in Liberia,” she said.
Mary Broh’s presence on Monrovia’s streets is being heavily welcomed by Monrovians. On Monday, November 15, after the interview, she took off from her GSA Offices onboard a white pickup and drove through the Palm Groove Cemetery, where members of her team were cleaning up. As the pickup drove slowly through the city, other members of the taskforce were breaking some makeshift structures, including market stalls along the way, as a large crowd followed. They began chanting: “General Broh, Iron lady, Mary Breakay, Mary Burnit.”
One bystander shouted: “Oldma welcome back yah, the city was too dirty.” Commercial bike riders honked their horns in admiration of her works as they drove past her.