MONROVIA — Montserrado County district # 8 Representative Acarous Moses Gray has expressed disappointment over the failure of past national governments to prioritize the sanitary needs of their citizens, especially those residing in slums and congested communities in Monrovia and other parts adjacent.
Lawmaker Gray is a National Executive Committee (NEC) member of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
He emphasized that from decade to decade past governments have miserably failed to alleviate the poor sanitary conditions bulk of its citizens were battling over the years.
He claimed that those administrations did not do enough to properly lay out the capital by ensuring that each and every home constructed in Monrovia had a toilet facility for its dwellers.
Representative Gray made these comments when he dedicated two newly constructed modern latrines in the Bassa and God Bless You communities in Monrovia on Tuesday, May 3.
He noted that the initiative he has commenced will help alleviate the burdens his constituents are faced with in easing themselves as compare to others.
He maintained that it is “shameful” for homes in the capital to be without bathrooms during this modern era.
Representative Gray stated that though most of these communities have been in existence since the formation of Liberia, the sanitary problems confronting the residents have not been solved by regime after regime.
He said the initiatives will also boost not only good sanitation, but it will also promote and keep residents healthy.
According to him, university students and others would also benefit from the latrine projects in the two communities.
“We don’t know how the city was built or laid out; some homes don’t even have latrines. I made a commitment to myself that in our 23 communities there will be a hand mark. Government does not have to do all, but we in government that have the hand can also buttress the efforts of national government. Leaders of yesteryears did not address these perilous problems. All they had cared for was they and their children to chop”.
Representative Gray stated that as compare to other countries in the sub-region, Liberia should also be a nation where modern public latrines are visible in every community to boost good sanitation and health.
No defecating on beaches
“We don’t want people coming on the beaches defecating. Some of our kids are crawling and going around in the communities; women can’t go on the beaches because men are passing. I told the Chairman and the community to find me a place and I want to appreciate those who have given this place. We didn’t pay them for it and they give it to the community even though land business is very difficult in Liberia”.
He stressed that the poor layout of the capital has also contributed to the flowing of feces and other waste in the communities, something which according to him, poses threat to the lives of citizens.
Representative Gray said though the latrine project is a widow’s mat towards addressing the constraints residents are faced with, the project remains a blessing to the beneficiaries who suffered from open defecation and others as a result of the lack of bathrooms in their respective homes.
“I want to address the people who are making unnecessary comments. This latrine project worth US$1M to the people of this community. You may have your US$1M but for them, they are happy to have a place where they will come to ease themselves and commodes are available for them”.
Representative Gray, however, urged the leaderships of the two communities to ensure that monies generated from the facilities are used to develop the communities.
He warned that the beneficiaries should not be carried away by criticizing against the projects because, those that would be making derogatory comments have not done anything to address the poor sanitary conditions they have encountered for the past decades.
“Those who are criticizing us, they did nothing for Liberia. It is a shame that homes are built in Montserrado County without flush toilet. But when we think about the communities and built flush toilet for them, there are people who will say in this modern time-but in this modern time, what did you do or have you done for the people? I am proud to construct and renovate latrines because it will cater to our women, elders, passers-by and others”.
He warned against the use of the facilities as a ghetto or a hotspot for “extra activities” that will not benefit the community dwellers
Representative Gray assured the residents that: “I will not stop here or forget about you”.
He used the occasion to call on youths to continue to respect their elders and engage into positive ventures, including the cleaning of the beaches.
He further vowed to provide empowerment opportunities to the women in the two communities, with the first L$200,000 given to women in the Bassa Community beginning June 2022.
In separate remarks, the beneficiaries commended the CDC lawmaker for the gesture.
According to them, the facilities serve as an avenue to provide job opportunities for some of residents in the communities.
They vowed to utilize and safeguard the facilities from unwholesome and other practices.