This perspective piece is well reasoned and nicely summarizes a very complex topic in three pages. It should be required reading for everyone on both sides of this debate.
Photo: Paul Martinka, New York Post
"…help is really needed. He [Augustine Chiewolo, head of the Liberia clubfoot treatment program] told me that his cousin’s body was just removed from her house yesterday. It took four days for her to be removed. Her two remaining children are isolated in a church—and he is trying to make sure that people will deliver them food. He said that if they do get sick, there is no one who is willing to transport sick people to the hospitals, so many people aren’t able to access treatment. People are dying of ordinary illnesses because they are isolated as soon as they are ill and don’t access treatment."
"According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which reported on the slum in 2009, there were only four public toilets servicing 70,000 residents. Using the toilet cost 3 cents, and bathroom operators estimated they got about 500 patrons per day. “The facilities can be smelled 50 meters away, with the floor of each squalid cubicle 15 cm deep in soiled newspaper that residents use to wipe their posteriors,” the service reported. “Staff use gloved hands to scoop the used paper into a wheelbarrow, which they lug to the nearby river or beach to dump its contents into the water.” Other residents prefer not to deal with all that, and instead use the beaches as public bathrooms. “Before I can take my first step into the sand [I see] the small black and brown piles underfoot,” a Providence Journal missive says. “A few yards ahead, a scattering of about a half a dozen or so small children squat, eyes towards the sea.”"