Home > Uncategorized > Monrovia, Liberia – Disease rife as more people squeeze into fewer toilets

Monrovia, Liberia – Disease rife as more people squeeze into fewer toilets

MONROVIA, 19 November 2009 (IRIN) – Water and sanitation services in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, are getting worse as a growing urban population tries to squeeze more out of already skeletal services. On 19 November, World Toilet Day, NGOs are calling on the government to up its allocation, and on international donors to reprioritize funding to stamp out cholera and cut child mortality.

Just one-third of Monrovia’s 1.5 million residents have access to clean toilets, and 20 to 30 cholera cases are reported weekly; in 2008 there were 888 suspected cases, 98 percent of them in Monrovia’s overcrowded shantytowns such as West Point, Buzzi Quarter, Clara Town, and Sawmill.

Poor or non-existent clean water and sanitation facilities are linked to high malaria and diarrhoea rates, Liberia’s two leading child killers

In the Clara Town slum, 75,000 people share 11 public toilets and 22 public taps; West Point’s 70,000 residents must make do with just four public toilets, said Bessman Toe, head of the Montserrado County slum-dweller association, which represents over 40 slum communities in and around the capital.

Some households build their own toilets, but these tend to collapse during the seven-month rainy season, Oxfam emergency health engineer Jennifer Lamb told IRIN, so people defecate in the narrow alley-ways between their houses, on the beach, or into plastic bags, which they dump on nearby piles of rubbish or into the sea.

Read More – http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87110

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