As Sierra Leone joins the world to commemorate International Water Day, over 70 Water Marketers have dodged the National Water Quality Laboratory Test at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.
In an interview, the Head of the National Water Quality Laboratory, Mr. Sebastian Fornah, said they do water quality test on the physical, chemical and bacteriological to determine whether the water is pure or polluted, adding that if the water is polluted, it is treated and made available for public consumption.
He added that they are surprised at the number of water vendors in Freetown and the provinces, with only a hand full of them that contact the National Water Quality Laboratory for quality test. Mr. Fornah said they want to make it a national policy for all water vendors to register with them for onward quality testing in their laboratory. Sebastian Fornah also said most time they go up country with their laboratory test kit and collect samples of water, and administer tests to know whether it Is pure or not. In Freetown, they collect samples and take them to the laboratory unit at Tower Hill to conduct their test.
The Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Wusun Koroma, said 85% of the diseases confronting many people in the world including Sierra Leone, are water borne diseases. He therefore called on government and other stakeholders to introduce a policy that will urge each and every water vendor operating in Sierra Leone to conduct quality test in their laboratory before putting their products on the market for sale.
The Acting Director General of SALWACO, Mr. Victor Hasting-Spaine, said the International Water Day is a significant day to raise awareness on water related problems in the world and Sierra Leone in particular where, according to him, most of the water facilities were destroyed during the rebel war.
He added that they have a water testing laboratory in Freetown and Makeni, but that they are not adequate enough to serve other areas in the country, and appealed that the laboratory facility should be extended to other parts of the country, especially in Bo and Kenema cities. He emphasized that the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources which is the regulatory body, should put in place a policy to restrict water vendors from selling untreated water.
By Solomon Rogers