Robust Media reports on the issue of poor sanitation in Monrovia and its environs by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E) have claimed the attention of the Liberian Senate.

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WASH R&E is presently engaged in series of media activities on the filthiness of Monrovia and surrounding communities, as huge pile of garbage can be seen everywhere. The media activities with exclusive focus on sanitation have now become a topical issue on local radio & TV stations and in the local dallies.

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The on-going WASH Media Focus on Sanitation is considered a national issue and has claimed the attention of Senators at the Liberian Legislature. Members of the Senate view the present condition of the Capital city of Liberia not up to standard as expected and are calling for immediate actions to prevent further garbage spread throughout the city.

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The Senate, in its plenary Thursday, June 13, 2013, mandated its Committee on Internal Affairs to have Acting Monrovia City Mayor Cllr. Henry Reed-Cooper and Acting Paynesville City Mayor Cyvette Gibson summoned.

Both Mayors are expected to give reasons why both major cities are being swallowed by mountains of garbage stockpiles.

Observers believe that Monrovia began to look filthy following the resignation of former Acting Monrovia City Mayor, Mary T. Broh who was hugely financially supported by national government and some international partners to keep Monrovia clean and green.

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Madam Broh was then replaced with former Chief Justice, Cllr. Henry Reed-Cooper who is currently heading the Management Team of the City of Monrovia, but according to the Senators, effort by the current team is not as effective as compared to the former City Mayor.

The issue was first raised by Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba county that most parts of the city is currently in filthy conditions, based on continuous reports and his own assessments. Senator Grupee stressed he has noticed that the filthiness of the city is going beyond bounds. He informed his law-making colleagues that since the departure of former Mayor Broh from the Monrovia City Corporation, the city’s sanitary condition has continued to deteriorate on a daily basis.

Another Senator, Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh county wondered whether the former Acting City Mayor was working because she loves her country or because there was money available to carry out such function. Senator Nyenabo extolled his colleague for raising such grave issue which affects every resident of Monrovia.

For Senator Frederick Cherue of River Gee county, he said the appearance of the Acting Monrovia City Mayor will determine the problem to allow the National Legislature to complement efforts to keep Monrovia clean always.

In concurrence with his colleagues, Bong County Senator Henry Yallah suggested that the Paynesville City Mayor be added to the list, arguing that she, too be summoned “because Red Light Commercial District in Paynesville is almost covered with dirt at the moment.”

Acting Paynesville City Mayor Gibson was appointed by President Sirleaf in November, 2012, succeeding Madam Letitia A. Reeves. Thursday Session was presided over by Senate Pro-Temprore Gbehzohngar Finley who also welcomed the decision of Plenary to invite the two Acting City Mayors of Monrovia and Paynesville to face the Senate’s Internal Affairs Committee to provide convincing reasons why their respective cities are not being kept cleaned, despite huge support from government and development partners.

The Senate’s Committee on Internal Affairs is expected to investigate the matter and report to Plenary within the next one week.

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