Residents of Monrovia and surroundings are not only troubled with the nightmare of stock piles of garbage in the city, but are also deeply inundated with the lack of better toilet and bathing facilities in their respective communities.
Two of such communities are Clara Town and Samuel K. Doe Community, the densely populated areas on the Bushrod Island and Somalia Drive closed to central Monrovia. The Samuel K. Doe and Clara Town Communities in Monrovia are slum communities experiencing poor sanitation problems.
For Clara Town, it is experiencing latrine shortage, though the problem of garbage stock piles is another serious issue.
Some of the residents revealed that gaining access to one of the makeshift toilets or bathing facilities constructed over the Du River is a menace due to over crowdedness.
Waking up as early as 4 O’clock in the morning to gain access to the toilet and bathing facilities in their respective communities, is the only option residents have, though not a guarantee of having access to toilet or bathing facilities.
The fact is, at that time some residents are already awake while others queue waiting for other community dwellers before they can either defecate or bathe, a situation many of the residents described as demeaning and embarrassing especially for women.
For Doe Community, another populated and impoverished area named after Liberia’s 20th President, Samuel K. Doe is also experiencing the bitterness of appauling sanitary conditions due to lack of access to latrine facilities.
The situation is very critical to the extent that fasces are seen along the banks of the Du River and Stockton Creek.
A Doe Community resident, Momo Kanneh remarked: “At times we have to walk in water stopping us to our waist or chest to defecate or bathe”.
According to other residents the lack of latrine facilities, can also result to people using plastic bags to defecate and thrown anywhere, something locally referred to as ‘dudu-boy’.
The residents reported that such practice leads to the spread of water related diseases in the two communities.
The Clara Town and Doe Community residents appealed to the Liberian government and partners to assist them with modern bath and toilet facilities as a means of creating an enabling WASH environment in the two communities.
The lack of bath and toilet facilities according to the residents is posing serious hardship on them, especially women and children.
An assessment to the two communities also discovered that children use the bank of the Du River which is contaminated with fasces for swimming.
The assessment to the Clara Town and Doe Communities is part of an Exclusive Media Focus on Sanitation by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), with support from WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone.