The Commissioner of Garwolor Township in Montserrado County District #14, Madam Beatrice Williams says her action to lock up houses in Clara Town was prompted by affected residents’ refusal for almost nine months to clean polluted areas and bathrooms around their houses.
In an interview with the NewDawn Wednesday, 20 March, she complains that the biggest challenge in Clara Town is the sanitation issue, saying feces, dirty water and urine are wasted all over the place because most of the residents in Clara Town do not have toilets.
Her clarity comes after some residents including nursing baby mothers complained on Thursday, 14 March against locking their houses instead of the bathrooms that had problems.
But Commissioner Williams told the NewDawn that these bathrooms in question do not even have doors, as clothes are hung at the entrances when they are being used.
In the interview, the Commissioner says since the bathrooms could not be locked, the only alternative she had was to lock the doors of their houses with nails in an effort to compel the residents to clean the drainages.
Madam Williams complains that some residents have built on the drainage, thereby preventing free flow of water from the community.
“Some of them built on the drainages, they went (and) close the drainages. No way for the water to pass, and I asked them, those who … built bathrooms on the drainage, I’m appealing to them they should take the bathrooms off from the drainage,” she says.
Commissioner Williams indicates that once she applies the sanitation law, residents having these problems will be fined US$100.
Bathrooms constructed between houses in some parts of the community are said to be posing serious health risks for residents, while waste from the areas do not flow easily into the drainage due to huge pile of dirt, which clog the drainage system.
She denies claims of overlapping function, accusing some councilmen in the community including Mr. Varney Kiawu of allegedly going against her due to her demand to have an elected chairman for the council leadership.
She was earlier on Thursday, 14 March accused by Councilman Kiawu of taking the community matter and adding it on the commissioner’s job, arguing that the best approach would have been the closure of the bathrooms and imposition of fines but not to lock up houses.
But Madam Williams counters that for almost nine months she has been telling the residents to clean the areas but they have refused to heed to her call.
Further, she says she served them with citations for meeting aimed at finding ways to clean up the drainages, but they allegedly refused.She says she is mounting efforts to ensure the community dwellers erect toilets and bathrooms.
Madam Williams told this paper that she has decided to meet with the Public Works Minister to discuss the situation issue in Clara Town for a possible solution.
She says she was led on a tour of the area by Rev. Elijah Johnson to identify polluted areas, and in the process she also noticed that Rev. Johnson’s houses were also involved in similar problem.
Based on her stance that justice should be done to all, Madam Williams says Rev. Johnson’s houses were also locked along with other affected residents.
Following appeals by residents, Madam Williams says she opened their doors the same day, Thursday, 14 March.
Meanwhile Madam Williams says she has called a meeting slated for Tuesday, 19 March in relation to the sanitation problem, but Rev. Johnson did not allegedly show up.
Earlier, Rev. Johnson, a township councilman complained that the food he was preparing for his contractors who were working on his Church had spoiled after being locked up by the commissioner.
By Winston W. Parley