The Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA) and also Chairperson of the Citizen’s Engagement Board of the Monrovia City Corporation, Madam Mary T. Broh has underscored the need for residents of Monrovia to give the City a facelift ahead of the bicentennial Celebration in Liberia.
It can be recalled that the Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson T. Koijee, constituted a national Citizens’ Engagement Board on Thursday October 21, 2021, as a means of preparing the city of Monrovia for the upcoming bicentennial celebration slated for 2022.
The Citizen’s Engagement Board consists of 14 Liberians chaired by madam Broh and Co-chaired by Ambassador Juli Endee followed by other reputable Liberians as members.
In addition, President George M. Weah constituted a National Steering Committee headed by the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Ledgerhood J. Rennie who is charged with the responsibility of planning activities leading to the bicentennial celebration.
2022 marks 200th years since the first batch of freed slaves, later known as Americo-Liberians, arrived in Liberia, precisely at Providence Island in Monrovia.
The event according to the Steering Committee is meant to reclaim and herald Liberia’s leadership role in Pan-Africanism, rebrand the country after its recent checkered history, while also celebrating Liberia’s rich cultural heritage and showcasing the vast tourism attraction.
The bicentennial commemoration also seeks to deepen U.S.-Liberia historic ties and forge stronger economic and social bonds between both peoples, especially the wider diaspora.
“I am calling on religious leaders, traditional leaders, the legislators, local government officials, community leaders, the Liberian media, youth and students, business community, development partners and all to rally around the Citizen Engagement Board (CEB) in order to ensure that Monrovia City is clean for the upcoming bicentennial in Liberia,” Madam Broh said.
Madam Broh who spoke recently at the Monrovia City Hall, cited that the Citizens’ Engagement Board will work with the City Government of Monrovia to devise strategies and plans for preparing the City of Monrovia for year-end holidays and the impending 2022 Bicentennial Commemoration and provide advice for the Urban Renewal Initiatives (URI), adding that the URI is a road map of 35 deliverables for the Cities of Liberia.
“I am honored and thank Mayor Koijee for the confidence reposed in me to head this engagement board which will be reporting to the Mayor of the City of Monrovia during and after operational tenure of the CEB which is from November 1, 2021 to January 7, 2022,” she emphasized.
“We welcome the full participation of the Montserrado County Superintendent, Madam Florence Brandy, as well as Chairman and members of the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus, township commissioners and tribal governors, and community leaders as we all work for our beloved city.
However, she called on the Ministry of Public Works, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the Liberia Electricity Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Disaster Management Agency to join the campaign.
She further noted that in consultation and by approval of the Mayor, the CEB shall work to ensure and provide guidance on sanitation plans and actions for the City of Monrovia; which include the provision of advice on cultural programs that promote the image of the City of Monrovia, develop ideas that will impact the general state of the environment and security in the City of Monrovia, liaise with structures and departments of the Monrovia City Corporation to engage communities and stakeholders to promote a clean city.
Also, the CEB will provide ideas on seeking and attracting resources to carry out plans and Invite citizens’ participation in activities that will impact the long term governance of the City of Monrovia respectively.
Madam Broh disclosed that since her announcement as head of the CEB by the Mayor, the board has met and consulted for the finalization of a work plan that shall seek to ensure that Monrovia will be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the upcoming year-end holidays and the year 2022.
She revealed that the work plan of the CEB will utilize four key principles including enhancement of public awareness through sustained media engagement, Community-based approach to address waste management, active public participation in developing long-term urban governance advisory; and innovative cultural and creative arts as a medium for promoting national and historical pride.
“If the Citizens’ Engagement Board will embark on a successful journey the CEB should receive the moral support of all the residents of Monrovia. Using existing community structures, the CEB will work through task teams and community leaders to implement an accelerated action plan to carry out massive cleaning up of the streets, neighborhoods, public places, beaches, waterfronts, cemeteries and drainages in the nation’s capital, Monrovia,” she disclosed.
In Monrovia, According to her, there are over 1000 community residents who will benefit from short term hire services, noting that Monrovia City will be beautified and decorated with an effective community-based mechanism coordinated for sustained long term sanitation and urban planning, adding that, disorganized street-selling and makeshift structures that deface the outlook of the City will be addressed as well as owners of unpainted buildings and overflowing septic tanks will be called to book.
The CEB boss admonished inhabitants of Monrovia that by December 25, 2021, all public and private buildings in the City must be painted, stating, “in a few days, the Citizens’ Engagement Board will hold a mass meeting with community leaders to acquaint them with our plans. “Monrovia must be ready and all of us shall work together to do so,” emphasized.