By. Moses Owen Browne, Jr.
John Gray, a 28-year old Liberian survives daily by searching waste sites in and around Monrovia to find food. He looks through trash canes, landfills, and garbage bags for things he can possibly sell or eat.
Mr. Gray, who lives in the Todee District area of Montserrado County, is one of 15,000 homeless and unemployed Liberians who cannot find work and are eating out of dumpsters to survive daily.
The obvious lack of jobs has affected many like John Gray, who wants to work but cannot find employment in Liberia. And the only way to survive in Liberia (if remittances are not transmitted from overseas from friends and loved ones) is to live in the streets and eat out of dumpsters.
Desperate to get himself some money for food, I watched him picked up some scrapes and iron to sell. When I politely asked him to take his picture for this story, he willingly posted for the picture and said: “Take my picture and explain to the world about my situation. This is very dirty and sickening for me, I get rashes and get sick often. This is my way of survival.”
Meanwhile, the Sirleaf administration has launched a 150 plan of action with the goal of creating 20, 000 temporary jobs for young people. Whether people like John and others who are unemployed will be among those fortunate to get one of those jobs, will be seen. Stay tuned!
In another development, DITCO, an electronic store on Randall Street in Monrovia was the scene of a drama recently when the store’s management refused to change a faulty fan purchased by one Sam E. Gibson.
Mr. Gibson bought the fan from DITCO for $25.00. A day after he took the fan home, he noticed the fan was not working. It was during this time that he took the fan back to DITCO for a replacement fan.
DITCO, showing some concern initially decided to test the item; then realized it was defective, but decided against replacing it anyway claiming it wasn’t their fault.
A woman believed to be DITCO’s General Manager known as Marpu refused to change the fan on grounds that her business does not provide warranty for such item. Marpu’s don’t care attitude and lack of respect for her customer created a scene that almost went out of control.
The intervention of the national police made no difference, because DITCO deliberately refused to change the fan or refund Mr. Gibson’s money. Mr. Gibson later contacted his attorney, T. C. Gould.
DITCO is an electronic appliance company established in Liberia in the 1980s, selling TVs, industrial fans, air conditioners and office supplies.
Despite steps made by the government to ensure a stable and better environment for job opportunities through the private sector, customer’s service is still a major challenge.
One thing that will guarantee the success of a good business environment is good
customer service, and better laws to regulate business activities in Liberia.
Moses Owen Browne Jr., is Executive Producer, Liberia Women Democracy Radio, LWDR 91.1 FM, Congo Town.