Selling water in buckets amounts to extortion – Ghana Water MD

The Acting Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr. Clifford A. Braimah, says it would amount to extortion for retailers of water to continue selling buckets and gallons of water to people in their communities.

He explained that the president’s directive indicates that every water that would be supplied by the GWCL should be free for the next three months and that should apply to those who sell water in buckets and gallons in their localities.

As part of measures taken to combat the novel Coronavirus pandemic, government has absorbed water bills for all Ghanaians for the next three months – April, May and June.

In his 5th address to the nation on COVID-19 on Sunday night, President Akufo-Addo said all water tankers [publicly and privately owned] would be mobilized to ensure that there is constant water supply to all vulnerable communities.

“The Ghana Water Company Ltd and the Electricity Company of Ghana have been directed to ensure the stable supply of water and electricity during this period. In addition, there will be no disconnection of supply”, the president pointed out.

But this directive did not take into consideration communities and households that do not have water supply and therefore rely on daily purchase of water with gallons and buckets.

The MD of GWCL however told Onua FM’s Yen Sempa on Monday, “this world has never treated people equally. He would just be extorting money from you if he sells the water from Ghana Water to you”.

Dr. Briamah said “I don’t expect a neighbour that is not paying for the water from the Ghana Water to charge those who purchase in buckets and gallons but how do we control that”.

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He explained, “We will give to the people free of charge, why do they want to sell? The President has sent out a policy… what is the intention of the policy; because every policy has an intention, if the intention is to be served free, then it should be free”

He however conceded, “the man is selling water to make living out of it…and government says don’t sell it…so we will be discussion with government on how to handle these”.

Storage of water

Dr. Briamah is urging consumers to store water.

“We have not reduced the volume of water that is coming into our homes. We should increase the storage. We expect people to add storage to their supply because it is not possible to have 24/7 water supply. So add storage so that you can have 24/7 water supply”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo | | Ghana