3 weeks ago
Thursday, 30 April 2009
A 1 hour-ish downpour mid-afternoon last week signaled the unofficial start to rainy season. It also brought the unsavoury smell lodged beneath Gurley Street to my nostrils. Rank, fetid, putrid: all adjectives I would use to describe it, were I offered the literary license.
Everyone lamented the fact that soon, as the rains increase through August, that smell would be a constant, along with the murky pools filling the streets, and swirling down the clogged drains. "All the sewers are backed up. They can't drain." Classic Liberian resignment to tough living conditions, served with a a casual shrug.
I was depressed just thinking that, come July, wading through banana peels floating on a turbid sea of brown and green pockmarks would be my daily routine.
But, low and behold, sewer cleaners took to the streets in droves only days later, harnessing an assortment of semi-tools to unclog said sewers around Monrovia. I have worked some dirty jobs, including as a garbage man. But this is truly next level. Please note the blackness of sludge, and think about the numerous things that have turned it that colour since 'aging' below the concrete since the last sewer cleaning, 5 years ago.
The guys pictured here have been cool with letting me hang with them as they deal with the blockages at Benson and Gurley for the cool rate of around $5/day.
Great benefits package though, surely.