The inaugural edition of the remodel monthly cleaning initiative in Monrovia was launched over the weekend with President George Manneh Weah and First Lady Clar Weah participating in waste disposal campaign.
Hundreds of supporters on Saturday, 3 March paraded with the mayor of Monrovia Jefferson T. Koijee, President Weah, First Lady Clar Weah and ex-City Mayor Mary Broh before reaching the jam packed Rally Time Market.
Flanked by Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, Representative Acarous Gray and others, President Weah was seen digging out a stockpile of dirt with a shovel and dumping it into a wheelbarrow.
It came after former Mayor Mary Broh announced a turnover of the cleaning up campaign on every first Saturday in each month to the new administration.
President Weah was followed by Mrs. Weah who performed similar task to mark the official launch of the “Weah for Clean City” campaign.
According to President Weah, the cleaning initiative reminds him of his days as a kid when he picked up trash from the dumpsite. He encouraged residents of Monrovia to regularly clean their environments and help the MCC ensure the city is clean, green and safe.
“Jefferson, I want to thank you, you made me to retrospect about my days as a kid. I was always at garbage looking for empty bottles, empty cans and what have you. For so long I have not picked up dirt but today I am honored and I am proud to do that, to clean the city”, Weah asserted.
For her part, First Lady Clar Marie Weah remarked that she was happy to be a part of the event as the new government is setting an example that it cares for the people.
After the official launch, Mayor Koijee and others toured the streets of Monrovia and made several stops at garbage disposal sites. The mayor was able to set up community teams to coordinate with the MCC authorities to ensure proper disposal of wastes.
Mr. Koijee at the conclusion of the events held a press conference in the ballroom of the Monrovia City hall where he asked all cities in the 15 counties to emulate the example set in Monrovia.
He said the “Weah for Clean City” is not just intended for cleanliness but vision aimed at empowering hundreds of youths through job creation. According to him, over 1600 youths have already been recruited from Monrovia and parts adjacent to form part of the mass cleanup campaign with focus on communities ravished by filths.
“Today I walked down the streets; tears nearly came down my eyes. Our People have been subjected to this inhumane condition for over twelve years; we don’t have good hospitals so we cannot further encourage them to live in filthy environments that could further worsen their condition,” he says.
He took up time to dispel perceptions that renaming the regular first Saturday cleanup was an attempt to destroy Mary Broh’s legacy.
Koijee noted “We brought in Mary Broh, we didn’t change the day, we have improved the day and added more flavor to it, but we owe no explanation to our critics”.
He concluded that the City Corporation is hugely challenged with logistics and capacity, noting that there is an urgent need for government to increase budgetary allotment to the MCC to enable it put scores of young people to work and achieve its optimal goal of keeping Monrovia safe, clean and green.
By E.J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley