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Lawmakers want zoning laws enforced

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Members of the House of Representatives in their extraordinary sitting have highlighted the need for the Ministry of Public Works to robustly enforce the Zoning Laws of Liberia to contain heavy flooding that continues to wreak chaos annually as a result of torrential downpour.

They made the call Thursday, September 17, after reading a communication from Montserrado County district #9 Representative, MsMunah Youngblood. The communication highlighted the wave of increased flooding that has besieged Monrovia and its environs for the past several days, which is becoming commonplace in some parts of Liberia during heavy downpour.

Lawmakers that are championing implementation of the zoning laws are Clarence Massaquoi, HajaSiryon, Larry Youngquoi, Johnson Chea and Acarous Gray, among other.  They noted that there is a need for the Ministry of Public Works to demolish structures built in waterways in communities to help avert flooding.

According to them, when the waterways are cleared, there will be free flow of water through drainages, reducing the threat of flooding that often leads to homelessness and destruction of property. They also expressed fear that if the situation were not curtailed as soon as possible, it could trigger serious health problems for the population.

Monrovia and its environs were submerged in severe flood following heavy downpour early Monday, 14 September.  Thousands of dollars’ worth of properties were destroyed, while hundreds of residents left homeless.

Hundreds of private and government workers either arrived at work very late or did not report for work at all as a result of the heavy rains. Communities affected by the flood include Slipway, Doe Community, Logan Town, Sinkor, Clara Town, as well as Barnesville Township and Battery Factory, respectively, among others.

This paper visited these communities and saw some residents in tears, while others were busy relocating their remaining properties they could lay their hands on to a safe place. However, Plenary has mandated the House Committee on Public Works to communicate with the Ministry of Public Works to put in place measures aimed at addressing the zoning problems and report in two weeks.

By Ben P. Wesee – Edited by Jonathan Browne

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