GWCL to supply health facilities but warns of water shortage

In the face of challenges in water supply to Accra and its adjoining cities, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has given assurance of constant supply to health facilities at the forefront of managing COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in the country.

In a statement issued on Monday, the GWCL admitted experiencing difficulty in distribution due to high demand and implored consumers to “increase storage of water while it is flowing through their taps so that in the event of low pressure or no flow, consumers can resort to their storage.”

But in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday, the Managing Director of the GWCL,Dr Clifford Braimah said while hospitals would have to take advantage of storage facilities to store water, the Company was in the position to provide water to key health facilities to help manage the pandemic.

His comment comes in the wake of reports of water shortage hitting some hospitals like the Tema General Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) putting the lives of patients and health staff at risk.

In the case of KBTH for instance, the Ghanaian Times gathers that patients are compelled to either request relatives to bring them water from home, resort to the use of sachet water or wait till late hours to struggle over the little water that flows through the pipelines.

“For the past two weeks, our tap has not been flowing. Even water to wash your hands after a medical procedure is an issue and yet we don’t know what authorities are doing especially in this time of COVID-19 outbreak,” a staff at the hospital lamented.

According to Dr Braimah, “we are doing what we call demand management now” to supply water to the designated areas at a time “so we expect that within the period they fill all their tanks and store enough water so that by the time we have moved on to supply another, they will still have enough for use.”

“Korle Bu and Ridge for instance have storage and underground tanks and we will make sure they have constant water supply in these times,” he said.

He explained however, that the cut in water supply to KBTH for the past weekswas as a result of the intermittent power outages which affected water production and timely distribution.

Dr Braimah admitted that demand in water supply was high in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and urged the public to stick to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation to wash hands within 20 seconds in order to conserve water.

“Washing hands under running water does not mean you leave the taps on to go waste because that may hamper another person chance to get water so we advise that we get Veronica buckets or let someone pour water on your hands so we can conserve water.”

Requesting citizens to report cases of burst pipes for rectification, the Managing Director again advised the public to desist from using pipe water for watering lawns, washing of cars and other trivial activities.

He urged Ghanaians to co-operate with the GWCL in the circumstance to guarantee adequate water supply.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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