No Water To Drink

ACCRA IS passing through a debilitating water crisis. The streets in the densely populated areas of the city show a constant stream of water-searching residents, most of them women and children. The time that is wasted in the sometimes endless search for the all-important fluid, has not been helpful to both the school children and women, both of who must forego other equally important daily routines for watersearching. What aggravates the unsavoury situation is the ignorance about the exact date when normalcy would be restored. The sector minister and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) on one side, and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) on the other, have been engaged in banter. The shutdown announcement of a plant at Kpong by the water suppliers has been shot down by both the PURC and the water ministry. Consumers are unable to comprehend what exactly is happening as hopes of restoration of supplies are getting dashed. In the face of the confusion, residents of the city continue to carry their yellow containers searching for the life-sustaining fluid from wherever. The GWCL definitely has good reason for seeking to shut down the plant: it could be for routine maintenance works or something else. The company will not simply shut down the plant when there is no cogent reason for doing so. Perhaps what it has been unable to manage well is laying out a contingency arrangement to mitigate the expected inconvenience following the shutdown. The PURC is demanding a schedule covering the maintenance and how the company intends mitigating the inconvenience which would surely follow the shutdown. Until that is done, and convincingly, the shutdown has been ordered to be put on hold. Unfortunately, residents are still suffering the effects of the shutdown because there is nothing to show that normalcy has been restored. It makes us wonder whether residents are being conned into believing that the ministry or even the PURC is working hard and the GWCL not doing as much. Be it as it may, water is still not flowing through the pipes after the announcements and counter announcements; that is what is worrying. When residents go seeking alternatives to water supply, then we are surely nearing a disease outbreak. That is why we are justifiably worried about the persistent shortage of water. Even under normal times, unscrupulous food vendors are known to use unwholesome water to prepare meals for unsuspecting consumers in town to patronize, let alone the current circumstance. It is our hope and prayer that by the time this newspaper reaches readers, regular supply would have been restored to households. We cannot afford a water-borne disease at this time of economic restiveness. We have a handful of challenges already.