As water consumers across the country complain about the nationwide water shortage and rationing exercise recently announced by the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited, the New Crusading Guide newspaper can report without fear of contradiction that the safety of the little drops of water that rarely run our taps is not guaranteed, as chemists of the Ghana Urban Water Company Limited rely on expired chemicals to purify water.
In the face of recent UNICEF reports that poor quality of water is responsible for the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and poliomyelitis, investigation conducted by the New Crusading Guide has revealed that consumers may be drinking polluted water as a result of the continuous use of expired aluminum sulphate to purify contaminated water coming for the various rivers that serve the country.
One of the most important uses of aluminum sulfate is in water treatment and purification. When added to water, it causes tiny dirt to clump together into larger particles. These clumps of impurities will then settle to the bottom of the container or at least get large enough to filter them out of the water. This makes the water safer to drink.
But of the most important uses of aluminum sulfate is in water treatment and purification. When added to water, it causes tiny dirt to clump together into larger particles. These clumps of impurities will then settle to the bottom of the container or at least get large enough to filter them out of the water. This makes the water safer to drink.
But this fact notwithstanding, GUWCL officials are busily carting sacks of the expired chemicals to their mile 18 central stores in Tema, pending distribution to the various regions for use.
Already, truckloads of the expired Alum have been distributed to some stations including Weija where engineers are on a collision course with the chemist over the use of the chemical.
The chemicals which were manufactured in China on June 10, 2011, expired on June 9, 2012, even before the company completed arrangements to clear the first heave of 550 bags on February 1, 2013. Subsequently on 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th and 11th of February the other consignments were cleared to the same stores ready to be distributed to the various stations across the country.
Although our sources say the Ghana Standard Board has given approval for the use of the expired chemicals for water treatment, experts say consumers may end up drinking contaminated water since the expiry date of a chemical simple means that it is not rock stable up to that date and immediately starts degrading after that date.
“Expiration dates on chemicals are a critical part of determining if the product is safe to use and will work as intended. Expired chemicals can be less effective or risky due to a change in composition or decrease in potency” an expert said.
Apart from this latest incident, the paper learnt that in a similar fashion it took the security services to move in upon a tip-off to clear the company’s stores of some expired lime which was meant for water treatment.
As at press time, checks at Weija hinted that security officials in a rather late move arrested a truckload of the expired chemicals that was making its way to the station. Questions have therefore been raised as to how the products were first cleared for use by the water company without being noticed by the security agencies.
“If they have really tested and are saying it’s good for consumption, why then the arrest, we are convinced that somebody is trying to cover up for the culprits,” our sources lamented.
It is however clear that, as critical as the nation’s water crisis is, most of the GUWL’s initiatives, interventions and remedial measures are driven by corruption, as officials take advantage of such situations to line their pockets at the expense of the state.
Engineers working at the various stains have laid the blame at the doorstep of the head of procurement, Madam Dora Bornah and her deputy, Mr. Stephen Dampare who they accuse of complicity in what they term as one of the dirtiest scandals that has ever rocked the company since its inception. The disgruntled workers also called for the prosecution of the officials in question and also the Acting MD of GUWL who they accused of superintending the rot.
They told this paper “there are dirty deals with the acquisition of these chemicals, sometimes substandard chemicals are purchased for use and we dare not complain”.
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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