The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) appears to be helpless in regulating the operations of private water tanker businesses in the country.
Residents of Adentan and other areas in Accra which have challenges with water supply usually patronize these private takers who sell water they obtain from mostly unknown sources.
The situation has placed people who buy water from private water distributors at risk.
There have been suggestions that the water from these tankers is taken from wells and other unhygienic locations for sale to the unsuspecting public.
However, the GWCL, which is responsible for ensuring the supply of potable water to all urban communities, has said it cannot control the private distributors.
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Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, the Head of Communications at GWCL, Stanley Martey said that although they are unable to control the activities of the operators of these private tankers, they have tried to sensitise them on the need to acquire the water they sell from hygienic sources.
“What we do is to interact with them to know the essence of getting water from the right source but as to whether some of them are going by the education we give them that we cannot tell and we cannot enforce. And water is such that if there are germs or unwanted bacteria in the water, it will be very difficult to tell with the naked eye.”
“So we let them know the essence of getting water from the right source and the essence of getting your tankers disinfected regularly. So we are in touch with all the tanker association and we do that on regular basis,” he said.
When asked if there is an approved source for the tankers to get water from, the GWCL spokesperson said it should be “from a Ghana Water company approved hydrant or approved point” but admitted they don’t have control over where the tankers get their water from.
“That is why I’m saying that we do not have control over that so with that we only educate them on the essence of doing the right thing.”
GWCL to ration water as dry season affects supply
Mr. Martey made the remark on the back of the ongoing water rationing in parts of the country.
According to the Ghana Water Company Limited, they are experiencing some challenges with water supply in Accra and most parts of the country due to the onset of the dry season, and that “the situation has led to intermittent water supply in most cities and towns in the country.”
A statement released by the management of GWCL last week advised the general public to be measured in their consumption of water while the Water Company addresses the challenges.
“It must be emphasized that during this season, a number of consumers resort to the use of treated water for keeping lawns green, for commercial washing of vehicles etc. The dry season is on and consumers with greater dependence on rainwater have also compounded the problem by taking to treated water use. These practices ease the pressures in the pipelines thereby causing low pressure and no flow in some areas, especially areas located in high elevations.”
“Management of GWCL is very much concerned about the serious impact of the water situation in the country and wish to assure the general public that, the company is working assiduously to undertake the necessary steps aimed at improving the water delivery in the Country,” the statement added.