Residents of Monrovia and its surroundings are not only troubled with the nightmare of stockpiles of garbage in the city, but are also deeplydistressed by 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 respectively, close 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 stockpiles is another serious issue.
Some of the residents revealed that gaining access to one of the makeshift toilet or bathing facilities constructed over the Du River is a menace due to overcrowdedness.
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 for having access to toilet or bath facilities.
The fact is, at that time some residents are already awake, others are queued in long line waiting for other community dwellers before they can either defecate or take bath, 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 appalling sanitary conditions due to lack of access to latrine facilities.
The situation is very critical to the extent that feces are seen along the banks of the Du rive and Stockton creek.
A Doe Community resident, Momo Kanneh remarked: “at times we have to walk in water reaching 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 throw feces 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 carried out on the two communities also discovered that children use the bank of the Du River which is contaminated with feces for swimming.