An acute water shortage has hit parts of Accra, with residents bracing through thick shoving crowds, queues and sacrificing their sleep and comfort to access water.
Places worst affected include Adabraka, Asylum Down, Bubuashie and Dansoman. Field visits by the Daily Graphic indicated that some of the communities have not had water running through their taps for almost two weeks.
Residents of Adabraka, where water has not been available for about a month, have appealed to the management of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to urgently address challenges with its pipelines that had led to an acute water shortage in the area.
They contended that the situation was affecting their daily activities since they had to walk for long distances to fetch water for domestic and commercial activities.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic during a visit to the area, residents in the area, particularly those at Odawna and its environs, said the situation continued to affect hundreds of residents.
“As it stands now, we do not know when the problem will be rectified. We have only been told that the management of GWCL is working to address the challenge,” a resident, Mr Emmanuel Gyamfi, said.
For the past three weeks, residents of Adabraka have been experiencing water shortage.
The situation has become very worrying, as both adults, particularly women, and schoolchildren spend time in search of water from neighbouring communities.
Some of the affected residents have resorted to water from wells and sachet water for domestic use.
Meanwhile, the GWCL, in a statement issued last Tuesday, said it had begun an exercise to service all its valves that supplied water within the Adabraka enclave to identify the problem.
According to the company, the challenge had come about because unauthorised structures had been put on the GWCL pipelines and valves and that was causing blockage and consistent bursting of the lines, leading to low pressure and erratic flow in some areas.
As part of temporary measures to curtail the situation, the GWCL said it had deployed over 30 tankers to the community to serve consumers at vantage points to ameliorate the situation.
A ‘chop bar’ operator in Adabraka, said the water shortage had forced her to reduce the quantity of food she cooked daily.
“We do not have water so I cannot continue to cook in large quantities. Now I have asked some of my workers to hold on until the situation is resolved because I pay them daily,” she said.
Another victim, Mr Anthony Gyalabi, said he had personally visited the Accra office of the GWCL to find out what the problem was but he was only told measures were in place to address it.
“I only read in the papers that the problem has to do with blockage in their system. We only hope they fix it on time,” he added.
The situation is equally dire in Bubuashie and Dansoman where residents have to wake up at ungodly hours to join long queues to draw water.
At Dansoman Control, residents explained that their taps had been empty for more than a week and only had a little flow last Thursday night.
A resident, Mr Elijah Osafo Kwaakye, said although water flowed yesterday afternoon, the pressure was low.
At Mama’s Inn near the Dansoman Roundabout, a resident, Mr Daniel Quartey, also explained how residents had to join long queues as early as 3 a.m. to get water before the taps stop flowing.
“For over a week, we have not had the tap flowing until last Thursday. Even that came only at dawn and we had to get there early since it came with low pressure,” he noted.
At Bubuashie, the situation was not different as residents said they had been without water running through their taps for almost two weeks.
Abigail Opoku, a resident at the Olla Balm in the vicinity, said they had to join long queues to fetch water from places where water was sold.
When the team visited a water vendor, who pleaded anonymity, he said he also had to engage water tankers who brought him water to enable him sell to the residents.
He indicated that in spite of the situation, the prices per bucket had remained the same.
Ghana Water responds
The Head of Communications at the GWCL, Mr Stanley Martey, told the Daily Graphic that places other than Adabraka that were experiencing water shortage was due to a 24-hour maintenance work on the Weija treatment plant last Wednesday.
As of midday on Thursday, the plants had begun pumping water, thus residents in those areas currently had water flowing through their taps, although with slow pressure.
Mr Martey gave the assurance that all such areas would have uninterrupted water supply from today.
Touching on the Adabraka crisis, he said, the GWCL was collaborating with the municipal assemblies to demolish structures on water courses.