By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – – The issue of poor sanitation in and Monrovia remains a serious problem, especially with millions on United States dollars pumped by the World Bank.
The Project approved November 13, 2019, will be ending December 30, 2016.
The million dollar question is: “Has the World Bank Sanitation Project achieve?”
Huge piles of garbage can be seen across Monrovia with little or no efforts from those charged with the responsibility to ensure the piles of garbage are removed.
The development objective of the World Bank 17.60 million Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation Project (EMUS) for Monrovia, Liberia is to assist the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) to provide solid waste services and increase the volume of collected and disposed waste from approximately thirty percent of daily generated waste to forty five percent.
Original project activities with higher than anticipated cost include waste collection and disposal.
The additional finance was to assist the government to achieve its strategy to continue to deliver a basic service to the population.
At first, Ghanaian based company Zoom Lion was contracted by the World Bank to implement the EMUS Project.
The World Bank terminated the contract of Zoom lion Ltd when it was found guilty of corrupt practices while executing projects funded by the Bank.
The Bank debarred the Ghanaian waste management company, for two years after the company was found of misconduct in implementing a Bank-funded project in Liberia.
The debarment, according to the Bank’s officials meant the company was disqualified for any contract financed by the World Bank Group.
These factors have created a serious sanitation huddles in Monrovia and other areas where the Project is been implemented with Monrovia City Corporation and the Paynesville City Corporation playing intervention roles.
These challenges over the years have turned into serious sanitation huddles for communities, marketers, motorists and pedestrians with serious health problems looming due to unhygienic environment caused by the garbage.
The EMUS project at present is facing huge challenges ranging from timely removal of dirt, break down of contractors vehicles to in accessible road at the landfill at the Whein Town site.
When it was initiated, EMUS Project was divided into two sections, the north includes Bushrod Island up to Front Street in Monrovia, and the south range from greater Monrovia up to Paynesville.
After the departure of Zoom Lion, two Liberian companies, Caspian Holdings headed Shadi Saleh and George Howe of LIBRA Sanitation were contracted by the World Bank to continue the EMUS Project.
Authorities of the Monrovia City Corporation have alleged that the two companies are responsible for the filthiness of Monrovia and surrounding due to dismal performance.
According to the MCC, since the two Liberian companies took over, the EMUS Project has been facing serious challenge when it comes to the removal of garbage from designated areas in the city.
The MCC disclosed that as part of the Project, Caspian has been given 4.2 million USD by the World Bank to implement the Project in the country.
The MCC is quoted as saying that the companies were provided funds to purchase equipment for the implementation of the Project.
The story remains the same, the Paynesville City Corporation has also blamed the contractors for the poor sanitary state of Monrovia and its environs.
Authority at the PCC revealed that intervening in areas where contractors have failed has helped to remove the garbage in the municipality.
On the contrary, the two companies have termed the allegation of not performing to expectation as false and misleading.
The companies indicated that it is untrue that funds were given by the World Bank to implement the Project.
Authorities at LIBRA and Caspian said they have to use their respective companies as collateral in securing funds from local banks to purchase equipment.
For some Solid Waste Experts, the way of mitigating this huge crisis is the involvement of the Community Based Enterprises involvement in the process.
The methodology of the polluter Paid System has been advanced as tool that could serve as a remedy to the sanitation problem.
Some of the Solid Waste Experts want Liberians pay for the garbage they create and it should not be based on the intervention of international partners.
The experts have the fear that if nothing is done to put in place a framework in resolving this issue, sanitation will always be a nightmare, not only for Monrovia, but the entire country.
For now, what is significant and is at stake is the safety and health of Liberians, especially people who have direct contact with garbage in designated areas.
The stock piles of garbage seen in around Monrovia are huge reservoirs of infectious diseases.
Human excreta have been implicated in the transmission of many infectious diseases including cholera, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, polio, cryptosporidiosis, and ascariasis.
Under nutrition, pneumonia, worm infestations, are also associated with unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene resulting in reduced physical growth, weakened physical fitness and impaired cognitive function, particularly for children under the age of five.
Many Liberians quizzed on this issue complain of health problems and want the present method changed in the collection of solid waste in Monrovia and surroundings.
They are calling on the government of Liberia to put in place mechanisms that will help resolve the issue of sanitation in the capital and other parts of the country.