The Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) was yesterday the scene of drama and laughter when authorities and the leadership of Whien Town community clashed during a presentation that should have been a normal exercise.
The MCC on Wednesday had called a press conference to refute media reports of a Cholera outbreak in the Whien Town community off the Kakata highway, but surprisingly the conference took a U-turn.
Whein Town community, with a population of over 10,000 residents, is currently being used by government as a temporary garbage disposal site for the capital.
Although the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) on yesterday said that dumping garbage at the Whein Town community in Paynesville does not create a major health harzard or environmental effect, the community leadership took exception, citing the proliferation of cases of running stomach as some of the health problem confronting them.
“Our major problem now is running stomach and the mosquitoes,” Teran Sackie chairman of the community said yesterday at an MCC press conference after being asked to make a comment.
He attributed it to the poor sanitation condition which, he said, was infecting their drinking water. The whole community lacked effective water treatment, he said.
Mr. Sackie whose statement shifted the intent of the forum, took many by surprise, including reporters and MCC officials, as he had been invited to defend the MCC statement.
The Whein Town community chairman went on to make matter worse for the MCC by confirming the death of two residents as a result of intensive running stomach.
Our reporter who covered the briefing yesterday said officials of MCC later became uneasy, with all eyes being fixed on community leader Sackie, whose revelations went contrary to the MCC’s interest.
The un-expected clash between the MCC and its own community group was triggered as a result of recent media reports of cholera outbreak in the area.
A local media house two days ago reported two deaths in the area as a result of the outbreak.
But in reaction, the senior advisor and head of the management team at the MCC, Frank Krah, told reporters yesterday that the reports of a cholera were untrue.
He said the design and operations of the landfill was environmentally compliant. “This means that dumping garbage at the site does not create any major health hazards or adverse environmental effects,” he added.
He cited the conduct of water quality testing being carried out regularly by an independent firm, Earthcom, noting that the most recent water quality test was conducted in June of 2012.
But interestingly, the chairman of the community confirmed the death of a pregnant woman in the same month of June, 2012, which was occurred as a result of running stomach.
The MCC officials further noted that a total of five wells have been constructed to monitor the water quality, with two being used for safe drinking water by residents.
“The MCC has trained 14 Whein Town community dwellers and given them materials needed to chlorinate the hand pumps regularly. The MCC also maintained that regular covering of waste and spraying of the landfill were being carried out coupled with the distribution of mosquito nets to residents, thus denying the reports of cholera.
However, the community refuted the assertion made the MCC management. “What he said is not true. We have not received any mosquito nets from the MCC,” he told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview minutes after the briefing.
Though the community leader could not confirm the outbreak of cholera in the area, he however confirmed the proliferation of running stomach.