Scarcity Of Water Amidst Covid-19: Threat To Community Dwellers

With Covid19 still posing threats to lives, the unavailability of potable water in some parts of the Tema Region, thus Tema, Ada and Ningo Pramrpam has become a major worry to inhabitants in theses areas.

Ideally the three main prevention methods of contracting the covid-19 virus, has to do with the avoidance of crowd, use of nose masks and the regular washing of hands under running water.

However the issue if washing hands under running water, has become a major challenge to many Community dwellers in semi deprived communities such as Tema, Prampram and Ada, who have witnessed an acute water shortage for the past one month.

Residents in semi- deprived communities like Tema mewtown in the Tema metropolis, the Lotsubeur Community in the Ningo Prampram District and that of Tomatoku in the Ada East District, have been the hardest hit.

With the Tema newtown Community, a fishing community in the Tema region, most dwellers here hardly practice the covid-19 safety precautions, due to their own grasp or knowledge of the virus. However the situation has worsened with the unavailability of potable water, compelling. Most dwellers who spoke to the Atinkanews, said in the absence of water, they either resort to raw alcohol or hand sanitizer, which is even expensive to buy.
Mr Frank Nii Adjei, an outboard motor repairer at the Tema fishing harbour said, it’s been a long time since he practiced the act of washing hands under a running water. He said with the unavailability of potable water and increment in utility bill, it would be unwise for him to be washing his hands on a normal basis.

In farming communities such as Lotsubeur and Tomatoku, most residents and farmers here have to resort to using water from the stream and dams for their farms, as well as cooking, washing and even drinking. They say that’s the only alternative to survive in the absence of potable water.
However some farmers say the demand for the streamy water has shot up since the close of running taps due to an ongoing repair works on the Kpong-Tema Booster lines.

Madam Dugbaki, a farmer say, the issue of washing hands to prevent contracting the Covid virus, is not a priority, since they are more focused on getting water for their farms and household chores.

With the Ghana Water company limited still carrying out it routine maintenance work on some of it major pipe lines, the fear amongst residents and business operators, of the situation continuing for months, still lingers on.

One of the alternative source for potable water has been that of the operations of water tankers in the Tema region. However, some water tanker operators in Tema say, they’re equally befaced with similar situation. Chairman of the Tema Water Tanker Operator Association, Wilson Steve, say they struggle on daily basis to even meet half the demand of the public. He said two of their main water lines which were shut down by the government a year ago during the pandemic, are yet to be reopened, making life difficult for them.

Acting Tema Chief Manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Ing. Mac-Doe Hanyabui, said the closure of those lines were based on security and technical reasons. He said though they are 60% through with their ongoing maintenance work, some parts of the region are accessing potable water.

STORY BY PHILIP AKUTEY AZU

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