The Managing Director of the company, Dr Clifford A. Braimah, said the outbreak of COVID-19 had increased the demand for water and put extreme pressure on the company to supply the resource."We are in the dry season and the demand for water usually outstrips supply at this time of the season; illegal mining has also made it difficult for us to supply more water; and now, people need more water for handwashing because of COVID-19. This means that we need to use water efficiently to conserve it for essential use,” he said.
Dr Braimah made that call when he spoke to journalists yesterday after he joined the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, on a working visit to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, which serves as a holding centre for COVID-19 patients.
The visit by the minister was to assess the water and sanitation situation at the hospital.
Dr Braimah emphasised that the growing demand for water meant that institutions and individuals needed to devise efficient systems to manage the resource.
For instance, he called on operators of washing bays to stop using water for their businesses and added that members of the public needed to also stop using water for watering lawns.
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) standard is that we should wash our hands under running water for 20 seconds, so let us adhere to this so that we can conserve it for other uses," he stressed.
While assuring that the GWCL would do everything within its means to make water available for essential use, he urged members of the public to support the company by helping to plug leakages in the water distribution system.
“Let us help the GWCL to repair all burst pipes by reporting such cases promptly to the company for action,” he said.
Dr Braimah also asked people who had intermittent supply of water to be innovative by storing water for contingency purposes.
For her part, Ms Dapaah said the ministry would work closely with the GWCL to ensure that there was regular supply of water to the hospitals that served as holding centres for the COVID-19 patients.
She underscored the need for all persons to manage water well while prioritising handwashing as directed by health authorities.
The Medical Director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, said the hospital had enough supply of water from the GWCL to meet the needs of the facility.
Additionally, he said, the hospital had drilled boreholes that it could rely on for water in times of inadequate supply.
The management of GWCL last Monday released a press statement announcing that it was experiencing some challenges with water supply in Accra and most cities during this high demand period.
The company advised consumers to increase storage of water while it was flowing through their taps so that in the event of low pressures or no flow, consumers could resort to their reservoirs.