As the dry season is rapidly approaching it seems that Monrovia and its environs will face an acute shortage of safe drinking water owing to the rift between the water plastic dealers and the water companies.
A month or two ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a workshop with the Mineral Water Producers Association of Liberia (MIWPAL) about the prospect of safe drinking water and how the industry should be monitored and upheld for the betterment of the consuming public.
Prior to the workshop, the executives of the Mineral Water Producers Association of Liberia complained of the proliferation of substandard mineral water companies which according to them, posed a serious health hazard for the water consuming public.
It is glaring that before the onset of the production of mineral water, the spread and outbreak of cholera and other water-borne diseases were prevalent but now being curtailed and subsided completely and as such, it is evidenced that the consumption of mineral water by the general public produces a healthy environment.
In a bid to rid the sector of substandard water companies, during the workshop, the EPA among other things mandated the water plastic producing companies including Dura Plast, Liberia Plast among others not to sell water plastics to substandard water companies.
The EPA also mandated that water plastic companies should stop selling plastics to the water producers for exorbitant prices so that the price of a plastic bag of water will remain at least LD5.00 because the ordinary Liberian is not able to buy single water bag for over LD5.00 which will be too exorbitant.
Since the mandate was given to the water plastic producers, there has been no follow-up done or task force instituted for control of the process.
Nevertheless, the President of the Mineral Water Producers Association, Gardnersville Branch, Osman Fofana who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Destiny Water Company, expressed regret about the situation, adding that EPA has not instituted any action to control plastic producers nor identifying the substandard water companies for the full implementation of the EPA’s mandate.
According to Fofana, the price of water plastics sold to the water companies continue to escalate and as a result, more water companies are closing which he said could trigger the increase in the price of water bag during the next dry season which might pose a serious threat to the consuming public.
He wants the government to protect the interest of the water producers by prevailing on the plastic producing companies to reduce their prices so that a bag of water can be sold at an all-time affordable price (L$5.00) across the country.