The Tema metropolis and its environs from Wednesday had interruptions in their water supply as the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) embarked on an unannounced emergency maintenance work schedule.
The residents speaking to the Ghana News Agency, said the water shortage made it difficult for them to fully comply with the COVID-19 protocols, especially the handwashing under running water.
They explained that due to the unavailability of water, some residents were resorting to collecting water from any available source for domestic use, a situation which could lead to spread of communicable diseases.
According to them, they had exhausted the little water stored before the unannounced interruptions in water supply, indicating that they were now resorting to only the use of hand sanitizers which does not give full protection like hand washing.
Mr Shadrach Tetteh, a resident of Tema Community Four, told the GNA that he did not have water to even bathe before going to work adding that if the taps were not opened by the close of day, it meant he would not be able to do proper bathing when he returned home, fearing that he could be exposing his family to any bacteria and possibly COVID-19 virus he might have had contact with.
Mr Tetteh said “how do they expect us to practice the hand washing when they have closed the taps for the past four days without making provision for water tankers to provide water to us since they did not give us advance notice to enable us store enough water”.
He added that the water shortage was so bad that he saw some residents of Tema Community One, drawing water from drains.
Mr Lawer Turson Coffie, a septuagenarian resident of Tema Community Eight, told the Ghana News Agency that he did not have water at home, describing the situation as “frustrating” as he had to beg for water from neighbours.
Mr Coffie appealed to the GWCL to urgently restore the flow of water or send tankers around as they embark on the maintenance works.
Ms Rebeca Afari, a hairdresser and resident of Community One, Site One, said she could not fill her veronica bucket for hand washing, revealing that she had to buy three bags of water sachets daily for the family to bathe and cook with.
Ms Afari said it was inappropriate for GWCL to embark on such an exercise without notice or provision of water for residents.
Mr Sampson Ampah, Tema Regional Communication Manager of GWCL, apologized to residents for not giving them ample notice before the shutdown, explaining that it was due to the emergency nature of the works.
Mr Ampah however indicated that the maintenance work had been completed but engineers of the company were undertaking an integrity test after which water supply would be fully restored.