The European Union’s main man in Monrovia has apologised after Liberians took offense over his unflattering comments about their capital city, describing it as the dirtiest on the continent.While addressing an event by the Monrovia City Corporation last week, Laurent Delahousse had described the Liberian capital as “dirty and very disgusting” thanks to the proliferation of litter all over the capital.
He had said of all the African cities he had been assigned to, Monrovia ranks as the dirtiest.
However, following strong criticism by Liberians who described his comments as mean and disrespectful, Delahouse had apologised.
In a later statement see by APA, the EU man in Monrovia said his statement was intended as “a wake-up call” to Monrovians over littering their city, a practice which he felt should cease in a bid to make the Liberian capital more presentable.
He said his intention was to impact positively Monrovia’s waste management system for which the European Union provides funding.
“I apologise to the government and anyone feeling misrepresented by these remarks and I willingly retract the exaggerated wording that I used” he said in his statement.
Liberian government officials have since accepted Delahouse’s apology.
Some Liberians have also accepted his criticism of their capital as fair given the dilapidated nature of the city and its waste management infrastructure which leaves much to be desired.
They said Delahouse’s wake-up call should be taken seriously by both Monrovians and city council officials who should devise a more comprehensive strategy to make and maintain Liberia’s most important city clean.
Founded along the Atlantic coast of West Africa in 1822, Monrovia was named after US president, James Monroe, a strong supporter of American colonial expansion in the region.
A 2008 census suggested that Monrovia had a population of 1,010,970, representing 29 percent of Liberia’s total population at the time.