Paynesville – A Liberian environmentalist has claimed that “70% of those (people) residing in Monrovia live in swamp communities”. But did he get his fact right?
Fact Check By: Jerry Gaye | LVL Fact Checker
Cephas Flanzamaton, who holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Education Management, made the claim when he appeared live on the July 12, 2022 edition of the 50/50 Talk Show on SKY FM 107.1MHz to discuss the causes of environmental challenges like erosion and excessive flooding in Monrovia.
Local Voices Liberia Fact Checking Desk has been verifying the claim and here’s what we found:
The Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) has no relevant data or information concerning this claim on its website; however, a review of the World Bank’s 2020 Spatial Analysis investigating Constraints and opportunities of Greater Monrovia Urban Review shows that the informal communities in Monrovia make up approximately 70% of the built up area and accommodate two-third of the city’s population which is approximately 1.56 million people
According to the World Bank, the informal areas translate to approximately 113 slum communities — most of which are concentrated in environmentally sensitive wetlands.
Additionally, an Open Cities Africa’s research report published in November 2018 focusing on informal settlements in Monrovia states that “two out of three Monrovians reside in the unplanned and slum communities in lowlands and swamps”.
In February 2019, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team also released an annual report of a project that sought to map flood-prone areas of Monrovia to enhance resilience against flooding in urban communities. The report states that two-thirds of the population of Monrovia live in unplanned or slum communities in low-elevation coastal areas and swampy flood-prone lands.
After a careful review of the various available data and research materials provided the World Bank and Open Cities Africa, we conclude that the claim made by Liberian environmentalist Cephas M. M. D. Flanzamaton that 70% of the people residing in Monrovia live in swamps is mostly correct.
Two-third or 70% of the city’s population of approximately 1.5 million people live in environmentally sensitive wetlands or swamps, according to the World Bank.
“70% of those (people) residing in Monrovia live in swamp communities”.
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