Excavators on the Rise

 

 By: Gloria Wleh

 (Photo of  structure falling in SD Cooper Road

Ma Rebecca’s (preferred to be called) sloping five-bedroom house is a focus for sad-attraction at the edge of the Red Hill, in Omega.

The 64-year-old grandmother of many grandchildren looks heart-wrenching as she echoes the repression of her younger brother, who she said is responsible for the gradual falling off of her property.

“My little brother is in his shop, on the road selling. He gives people the go-ahead to dig under my house without my knowledge” Ma Rebecca said.

She added, “Right now the house is in a very terrible condition with tenants in it. I can not give my tenants notice right now because they have already paid for the place. When you go to talk with him about the situation, he will not say anything to you.”

Panicked behind her tailoring machine, the old woman spurned to be interviewed and recorded saying, “I do not have money. So, I do not have the power to handle the situation. My brother is the one in charge of everything.”

 (Photo of Ma. Rebecca’s house color white. Photo by: Gloria Wleh)

Isaiah Sackie is an occupant in one of the rooms within Ma Rebecca’s house. What is supposed to be an assistant to him has twisted into a nightmare.

Hopeless of living in his room as a family head of five (5) persons, he said, “ I feel very afraid living here with my children. But what do I do? I do not have money to take my family from here.”

Sackie narrated that for the past three (3) years, he and his family have been living in the house through the kind gesture of its owner.

“I can not force it to go elsewhere with my family because I do not have money. I was freely assisted to live in this house by the owner of the house. If  they continue digging here, I will remain here like this because I don’t have money to leave.”

Sackie however cries for help, lamenting, “the district lawmaker and others should please come to our rescue. We have pregnant women and baby mothers who are also living here.”

Like Isaiah Sackie, Mark Mitchell and his family were also assisted to live in a five (5) bedroom house that is on the hilltop in the SD Cooper Road,

Over the last five (5) months, he and his family moved into the house that is currently hanging over a wide pit, which he said was dogged by a Lebanese man who leased the spot from Mr. Brown, whom he mentioned as the house owner.

“The Lebanese man dogged this place like this. In the process of digging, the machine spoiled our bathroom, and they have refused to do anything about it. Now we don’t even have any bathroom to use,” Mitchell explains.

Mitchell continued that the house owner was not aware of what was happening but he (Mr. Brown) has however taken siege of the situation and assured dwellers of the house that he will fix the situation. He called on the government to take urgent steps to address the situation, because according to him, “they and their families are at risk.”

Adjacent to Mr. Brown’s property is Rev. Kehty Swen’s property, who disclosed that Mrs. Vivian Seaton is the original owner of the property, living broad while Mr. Brown is the caretaker.

According to Rev.  Kehty, “when they started digging, they told us they were going to build a fence immediately after the digging to prevent any casualty from occurring.”

“We have not seen anything like that going on,” he said.

Rev. Kehty said, “Now the rain is falling and the hill has started dropping by itself. We called them and they told us that the engineer responsible for building the fence has traveled.”

The Reverend has threatened a court action against Mrs. Seator, upon getting advice from his councilor.

“We have decided to get our counselor involved by this week, and we may likely go to court,” he stressed.

Curry Transport Service (CTS) is a transport service that is involved with, among other things, the backfilling of lands, demolitions, and the breaking down of hills.

Caterpillar 966h Wheel Loaders are the  machines they used to carry on their works.

Their machines are seen mostly packed directly opposite the Red Hill in Omega, and one of the supervisors identified as Morgan explains their involvement with the breaking down of the hills.

“The hill was all the way to the road here, and we burst it to where it is right now.”

Morgan said, “the property owner called us and sold the dirt of the hill to us for US$5 per truck load and we have taken more than 100 truckloads from this hill.”

He added that they were shown the demarcation, but they advised the property owner on what to do.  Revealing, “based on our advice the people living at the edge of the hill were paid and given notice to leave the place.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its … John Jallah disclosed that

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) provides structural analysis and directions where one can build a structure, The Liberia Land Authority (LLA) provides the acquisition of land.

Landslides occur when masses of rocks, earth, or debris move down a slope. It is unclear when the ministries responsible will move in to save inhabitants and the environment from such dilemma, as hills along the roads of Monrovia that have been affected by diggers are now falling by itself, leaving residents of those areas uncertain their properties and the fate of they and their children’s lives.

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