Residents of Battery Factory Community near the river banks alarm of pollution in their area as a result of sand mining by a private company, polluting the Measurado River.
The Battery Factory Sand Mining Company mines river sand between Battery Factory and Logan Town communities in Montserrado County.
Some residents of the area, including Massah Massaquoi and Thomas Nemine, complain that since the company began operation in their communities, they continue to face difficulty in fishing in the river for crabs and fishes due to serious pollution of the water by mining boat.
They disclosed that besides, the company boat being used to dredge sand from the river continues to push huge water into their areas thereby, causing erosion that affects houses near the river.
The residents add that water usually enters houses especially, when the tide rises, which is caused by movement of a company mining boat.
They further explain that as a result, local fishermen are constrained to either cross the Stockton Creek or Jamaica Road Bridge or Duma Bridge connecting Bushrod Island to the Waterside General Market to fish.
The residents call on relevant government authorities to intervene so that the situation does not become worse particularly amid the rainy season when the river usually overflows its banks.
The government of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf placed a moratorium on beach sand mining near communities, instead, directing sand miners to operate in deep waters.
Local communities near river banks are benefiting from incentive based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into with sand mining companies annually.
When this paper visited the operations site of the Battery Factory Sand Mining Company to verify allegations by the residents, a boat covered with red zinc was seen roaming in the river in search of sand.
Liberian workers who spoke to this paper disclosed that their bosses had gone to attend meetings with government ministries and agencies with oversight of Liberian waters.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne