The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has denied claims that it used expired chemicals to treat water for public consumption.
Reports says that, the Company had introduced expired Aluminium Sulphate into the Weija dam for distribution went viral in the media over the week butcompany has categorically distanced itself from the reports, stating that the chemical is still undergoing series of tests.
Public Relations Director of the GWCL, Stanley Martey allayed fears that the country’s water systems have been polluted for consumption by Ghanaians, saying the consignment of the chemical was seized for critical scrutiny.
An Aluminium Sulphate imported from China by the Ghana Urban Water Company to distill tap water was reported to have expired in June last year raising serious questions about its effectiveness.
Critics believed the expired Alum would create health problems for consumers and called for public queries into the issue.
Speaking in an interview with Peace FM on the “kokrokoo” programme, Stanley Martey explained the circumstances that led to the importation of the chemical into the country.
“We have processes you follow to import chemicals into the country. This process kept long, so, we even encountered some challenges at the Harbour. So, we realized that the expiry date was due. So, the standard board checked the efficacy or the potency of the chemical and they told us that although the expiry date was due, the chemical was still efficacious or potent to be used. So, they released the chemical.
“But when the chemical came to our place at the warehouse…I still will not be myself if I have to see expired product being introduced into water production because you consume water directly into your body. So, we just invited National Security to help us so that we clear that chemical; that particular consignment [it was just one batch, that particular chemical] out of the warehouse. That was what happened. So, we haven’t gotten to that point that we are going to use the product,” he told the host.
He added that th in Ghana on the date that it was manufactured. It is not possible. So, we were doubtful about the product. So, we needed to do some investigations; so, we had to isolate the product.”
Mr. Martey noted that the chemical was taken through some tests and upon realizing the expiry date of the product; the company has rejected the usage of the chemical.
He said; “The life span of the product in the container…means between the manufacturing date and the expiry date is just one year, which itself is not clear to us. Because even from the manufacturer’s end through bagging and through shipment to Ghana could take over 6 months…We buy the chemicals in bulk, sometimes for a whole year or we make an order for a 2-year consignment and they are delivered in batches.”
“So, for them (CEPS and Ghana Standard Board) to have released means there was nothing wrong with the product. It was potent and efficacious to be used, except that we needed to do more checks on when the thing got to us. The thing got to us just a day before yesterday, and they started to deliver. And that’s when we also called in National Security, so, it didn’t even spend two-three days at our warehouse. It was in process of review and we stopped them.”
According to him, there’s no cause for alarm because the Managers of Ghana’s water distribution system “haven’t used it and there’s no way that we will use it until we are cleared with all these things. When we clear all these things, and we can use it, then we will. But at this time; no, we’re not clear in our minds…So, there’s no way we’ll compromise on that one. If we do anything like that, look at the revenue we’re going to lose…there’s no way we’ll compromise on that one.”