Liberia: MOH to Embark On Water Inspection

In the midst of the huge proliferation of Mineral Water Companies, the Ministries of Health, Commerce and Industries, Public Works and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are soon to embark on a vigorous inspection campaign.

Making the disclosure over the weekend at his Health Ministry’s Office, the Director for Division of Environmental and occupational Health, Director Dehwhen O. Yeabah said his division has the mandate to ensure the safe of drinking water in line with the public health law and the inspection will be done in collaboration with the Association of Liberia Water Producers (ALWP) to identify wanted companies and sub-standard companies.

Director Yeabah said the concern of sanitation at water producing cites have been key to his department and the ministry, adding that they have been working with couples of those companies to ensure that waste management is improve.

According to him, they have already served notice to several of those companies on the basis of waste management, “We have been working with Aqua Life, Oasis, York and couple of other water companies to have collaboration in improving the sector as it relates to sanitation, though they have not have the situation where companies have fail to corporate.

“We know that some of those companies are operating illegally in corners that we are not know of, but what method we have formulated is to form a taskforce which we have already developed the terms of reference what we will be during in the coming two weeks is to operationalize that task force which is comprised of the Ministries of Health as head, EPA and Commerce,” he said.

The health authority maintained that they are in the know that those legal mineral water companies are being strangulated by those companies that are not register with government, adding that they flood the market with alleged contaminated and polluted water, even though he said he cannot defense those legal companies, but he said the ministry has been working with them the they have improved they facilities.

He said during their inspection campaign, those illegal water companies will be ordered closed down, “But if you are legal companies but your facility is not up to standard, we give you time and if you fail to prepare your place after during our campaign for the second time, we ask the court to close you facility.

Director Yeabah mentioned that good working relationship with the Association of Liberia Water Producers (ALWP) and on the basis of that, they are asking nonregistered companies to register with the ALWP, with that, he said it will be easier for the ministry to identify them or else, they will be considered as splinter group.


Liberia: ‘We Are Upset As Water Producers’

An Executive of the Association of Liberia Water Producers (ALWP), Ousman Fofana, has said illegal water producers are frustrated over the slow paste in which their mineral water businesses are going.

Mr. Fofana said their attentions have drawn to the proliferation of water producers, “We are seriously concern over the proliferation of water companies in Montserrado County, and most of those companies are illegal.”

Mr. Fofana who is the advisor to the association told newsmen over the week that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) that is the government’s regulatory arm and supervisor of all businesses in the country is not during must to regulate the water sector.

According to him, several companies are operating without the concern of the government including the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Liberia Business Registry (LBR), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Professional Standard Division (PSD) that is responsible for the testing of all consumable items before releasing it on the general market.

He said the action of the Ministry of Commerce not to properly check those illegal companies is causing serious setback to they are registered and paying their taxes to government on grounds that companies that are operating illegal produced their water at night and also sell below the government’s stipulated price of L$75.00 at night, thereby making them to have a huge lost at the detriment of illegal companies.

Mr. Fofana who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Mawata Group of Companies named the King Mineral Water located in the Aluminum Factory, Icy Cold Mineral Water located in the J.J.Y Community, owned and operated by a Ghanaian, the Pak Mineral Water located Upper Caldwell, owned and operated by a Pakistan national, Bell-Aqua Mineral that cannot be traced and the Ruva Mineral Water as noncompliance companies within the water sector.

“We that are legal companies are seriously suffering in the hands of those one machine and illegal companies, could you imagine, normally in dry season like this, water used to be in demand, nut today, the legal companies don’t sell more to cover our expenses, is all because foreigners and illegal companies have captured the market from us, they sell their water L$50 to L$60 at night.” Mr. Fofana said.

At the same time, Ousman Fofana is calling the government’s attention to these illegal companies in the water sector, adding that if action is not taken by the government to properly regulate the sector, they will be left with no alternative but to order their members to institute a go-slow in the production and sale of water, this he said if done, will called government’s attention.

Association of Liberia Water Producers (ALWP) is a legal association responsible to monitor and supervise all water companies within the country with the government the relevant authorities.


Liberia: Global Communities Launches Wash Project

Global Communities, an international non-governmental organization, has launched one year water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project in Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties.

Under the project, Global Communities will construct 32 new hand pumps and rehabilitate 75 damaged ones in the three counties.

In addition, Global Communities will also carry out minor repairs on 260 water pumps, construct three latrines and three improved washing hand facilities in the counties.

Under the capacity building component of the project, Global Communities will conduct training for 60 WASH technicians and 50 new WASH entrepreneurs in Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties.

Speaking at the project launch in Gbarnga recently, Global Communities Environmental Health Advisor, George Woryonwon, said the project is mainly targeting communities that have met the Open Deification Free guidelines by Global Communities and other government ministries and agencies guiding the WASH sector.

He noted that as per international standard, selected communities must have at most 250 persons whose source of safe drinking water is far from the community in which they reside.

The project launch, which was held at the Gbarnga Administrative Building, brought together WASH technicians from the Ministries of Public Works, Health and several district commissioners and residents from the three counties.