The chiefs and people of Acherensua in the Asutifi South District of the Brong-Ahafo Region are reportedly living in fear, as a result of the poor quality of water being supplied to the community by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
According to a report we carried yesterday, the residents have resorted to the use of sachet (pure) water for their household chores, as the water supplied by the GWCL is considered unwholesome.
The Akyempemhene of the Acherensua Traditional Council, Nana Aduse Poku Konkonko, is attributing the development to faulty filters at the GWC treatment plant on the Tano River, which has necessitated the shutdown of the plant, and the subsequent drilling of a borehole, which is giving them problems.
To help protect the lives of his people, Nana Aduse Poku is appealing to the government to assist the GWCL to, as a matter of urgency, repair the faulty filters, so that water could be treated from the Tano River for supply, to avert the outbreak of skin diseases.
When The Chronicle contacted the Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of GWCL, Engineer Charles Brobbey, he boldly argued that the residents would have to cope with the situation until 2018, by which time the problem would have been resolved. The Chronicle is aware of some of the challenges facing the utility companies in the country.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), for instance, is struggling to supply regular power to its numerous consumers, because demand has far outstripped what their facilities could provide. What has even exacerbated the situation is the fact that most of their equipment are outdated and ought to be replaced, but lack of capital is hindering the re-tooling process.
The GWCL is also facing a similar situation, as population explosion is making it very difficult for them to meet demand. In order to address this unfortunate situation, the company also needs heavy capital injection to buy new equipment to replace the old fashioned ones.
But, like the ECG, the GWCL is also facing liquidity problem. Much as we sympathise with the company, we completely disagree with the answer given by the Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of GWCL, Engineer Charles Brobbey, that the people of Acherensua would have to cope with the situation until next year, when it would, hopefully, be resolved.
If one should look at the quantum of money the government would spend to treat the people should there be any outbreak of water borne diseases, the amount currently needed to fix the water filters would not come into the equation.
Life is precious, but the answer given by Mr Brobbey is completely at variance to this. Should the people continue to bath, cook and drink the supposed unwholesome water being pumped to them until next year before the problem is solved?
We completely disagree with him, but what we do admit though, is that he is being compelled to make this statement, because the resources are simply not there to tackle the problem head on. The Chronicle is, therefore, appealing to the Ministry of Works and Housing, which has supervisory role over the GWCL, to find the money to repair the filters, to enable the water company, treat and pump wholesome water to Acherensua and its surrounding communities.
As we have already indicated, should there be any outbreak of water borne diseases, the money the government would spend to fight it, would be far in excess of what is being needed now to fix the filters.
A stitch in time, they say saves nine!