LIBERIA: Soniwhien in Water, Sanitation Crisis

……Residents Express Fear, Appeal for Intervention – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – The issue of the lack of safe drinking water and better sanitation in Saniwhien is alarming and has reached a crisis proportion.

Garbage Stockpile in Soniwhien

Garbage Stockpile in Soniwhien

Soniwhien Drainage

Soniwhien Drainage

The Soniwhien Community on Johnson Street in Central Monrovia has a population of over twenty five thousand residents. Soniwhien suffers from polluted drainages, stock piles of garbage and the lack of safe water.

The residents are expressing fears of an outbreak of water related diseases in their community, if nothing is urgently done to address the looming situation.

Speaking to WASH reporters over the weekend, a resident Alex Jimmy described the situation as embarrassing and life-threatening.

Mr. Jimmy appealed for urgent intervention to remedy the situation which is generating to a health hazard, before it causes deaths amongst the residents.

He said they are suffering from flies, mosquitoes, roaches and water related diseases due to huge piles of garbage, polluted drainages and the lack of safe drinking water in the Soniwhien Community.

Also speaking the Chairman of the Community, Tarley Johnson noted that the various public toilets along the Soniwhien drainage lack septic tanks resulting to the use of the drainage as sewerage.

Mr. Johnson said regrettably, some members of the community are also in the continuous habit of toileting in plastic bags and using the drainage to deposit feces.

He appealed to the government of Liberia and partners in the WASH sector to move in quickly to bring the situation under control.

Mr. Johnson also called on government to ensure the protection of the drainages, to prevent people from dumping dirt and feces into them.

Meanwhile the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Soniwhien Health Center, Madam Irene Sherman is calling on the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to relocate the health center to another Community.

According to Madam Sherman, the Soniwhien Community is not conducive to operate a medical center.

She complained that the Health Center is equally affected from the garbage stockpiles, polluted drainages and the lack of safe drinking water.

Madam Sherman disclosed that the clinic receives 95% of malaria and water related cases on a daily basis. She also disclosed that sometimes most of the patients are sent to other health centers because of the poor environment of the Soniwhien Clinic.

Investigation continues as the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia sees the situation in Soniwhien as alarming and also calls for immediate intervention.

Thanks to Living Water International-Liberia for the support. Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience “living water”—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.