Monrovia (Liberia) The Liberian government, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank Saturday launched a US$7.2 million initiative to rid Monrovia, the capital city and its environs of garbage and other hazardous waste.
Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, UNDP officer-in-charge of the Emergency Infrastructure Program, said under the project, solid waste will be managed, drainages rehabilitated, public toilets built, and markets rehabilitated in Monrovia and its environs.
The Monrovia Urban Works project, Mr. Kamaluddeed said, is part of the Emergency Infrastructure Project for which an agreement between the UN agencies and the Liberian government was signed last year.
The mayor of Monrovia, Ophelia Saytumah described the occasion as historic for the Liberian capital because it is the first time since 1980, that the World Bank has intervened to assist the city.
She said Monrovia is overwhelmed with both solid and liquid waste because the city, which was originally built for 10,000 persons, rose to 400,000 in the 1980s and now has about 1.3 million inhabitants.
She disclosed that each Monrovia resident generates an average of four pounds of dirt per day, making the outbreak of epidemics a common occurrence.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the World Bank Country Director, Liugi Giovanni disclosed that the Waterside, Duala and Red Light markets in Monrovia would be rehabilitated under the project, and that the exercise would help create the much needed jobs in post-war Liberia.
The Vice President of Liberia, who cut the ribbon marking the launch of the project, challenged city planners to learn from the Monrovia experience and plan cities in a way that they will accommodate large populations.
He pledged the government’s commitment to transforming Monrovia into a modern city that can match any other African capital city.
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