…Media Assessment Reveals
An assessment conducted by a group of Liberian Journalists under the banner, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters and Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E) has outlined appalling public toilets conditions in Monrovia.
Liberia, as a nation is still grappling with issues and the challenges faced by ordinary Liberians who do not have toilets in their various homes.
According to statistics, 17% of Liberians have toilets at their homes.
A statement from the group said the two-week assessment was conducted in several parts of the capital and its environs, including Paynesville, looking at conditions of toilets, and sampling the views of caretakers and users as part of the global celebration marking World Toilet Day.
The group said about 119 toilet facilities were visited in Paynesville and Monrovia cities, 33 in Paynesville and 86 in Monrovia.
The journalists network said in Paynesville, most of the public toilets are privately owned and that most of the structures are built with mud or concrete blocks.
For Monrovia, the group said out of the total number of toilets assessed, at least nine latrines were constructed by the city government known as government toilets, and the rest are privately owned and most of them are makeshift structures built over the Mesurado or Du River, Stockton Creek and in swampy areas.
Most of these toilets, according to the assessment report, are even risky for users, especially for children.
“Most of the latrines have caretakers who collect little fees as compensation or to help maintain the facilities.
At these public facilities, caretakers informed WASH Journalists that managing the affairs of such a facility is a gigantic challenge,” the statement said.
The WASH -R&E quotes some of the caretakers of these toilets as saying on several occasions the facilities are broken into by unscrupulous individuals who have chosen not to pay fees for usage.
When quizzed what they expect from the government, donor partners and citizens, the caretakers called on government to liaise with international partners in providing more public toilet facilities for community residents.
Residents, especially of the capital, Monrovia said most of the houses built in their communities were constructed without toilets. They said due to the lack of toilets in their homes, the Soniewhein drainage for many years has been used for the deposit of feces by residents.
WASH R&E Media Network discovered that the Soniewhein drainage is also used as a septic tank for some houses.
The residents complained that the city is overpopulated and that the issue of land space to construct more latrines with septic tanks is difficult.
Areas visited in Paynesville include ELWA Junction and adjacent communities-4, LBS-Sand Town and GSA Road Communities-6, Duport Road market and community-5, Red-light community and Gogbachop market-11, Pipeline community-4, and Jacob town market and community-3.
In Monrovia, areas visited include Slipway community-13, Soniewhien community and Rally Time market-6, Clara Town community and market-19, Doe community-14, Jamaica Road market community and Stockton Creak-11, Bushord Island-21 (Logan Town market and community, and Bong Mines Bridge and adjacent community), and Gardnersville-Association of the Blind-2.