26 January 2017

Liberia: For Poor Quality, Shabby Environments - Water Companies in Trouble

Many Liberians and foreign nationals residing in the country have red-flagged three mineral water companies in Monrovia for poor quality and shabby environments.

Many consumers have since said that some of the water produced by those companies has irritating odors risking health hazards, and as such, the companies need to be inspected by relevant government authorities and the Liberian media.

According to them, some of the companies' facilities are 'environmentally chaohhtic' due to the lack of proper management.

Pure View Mineral Water

This paper has meanwhile received report that some of the companies identified yet are Pure View Mineral Water in 72nd, Super T, Spring Aqua among others. Pure View Mineral Water in the 72nd community has constantly been accused of 'dirty surroundings' which is dangerous to the health of human.

The report says the factory is located directly at a back of an entertainment center operated by View Point with the latrine placed above the factory which it says poses threats to the consumers.

It was alleged that the company was using water from water wells in the same vicinity. In an interview with this paper, the manager of Pure View Mineral Water, Prince Conway denied all allegations levied against the company, terming it as 'politically motivated'.

"Our environment is good and we are using water and sewer because it is safe and refined for consumption. No UP because it has to do with water and sewer. We put the water on floor because the floor is clean. We have tanks for reserve if LWSC water is not forthcoming. We don't have wells in this compound," he said.

Conway also denied allegation that his company is selling the sac of water below usual the price setup by the Liberian Government and the Liberia Water Producers Association.

"This is highly political. Every other regulation as per the governing body of the mineral water association, we work within the direct confines of that. Whatsoever regulation as per selling in relation to all goods and services regarding the water is in the confines of the regulation of the Republic of Liberia," he added.

However, our reporter who visited the company noticed that the company is at the back of the entertainment center, and latrine is indeed in the location described by the consumers.

Super T Mineral Water

Another water company under serious scrutiny is the Super T Mineral Water Company in 72nd community in Paynesville due to its 'unclean' environment. According Mohammed Fofana, the General Manager of the tight mineral water building, the company has been in existence for a year and has just been surviving on LWSC water supply.

Fofana said his company has been closed for the past two days due to the lack of water from LWSC's line. Meanwhile, our reporter who also visited the company saw lots of unwanted plastic bags all scattered in the yard that is hosting the company with a huge pile of dirt right in front of the company.

When asked why the dirt is deposited there, Fofana said the dirt is brought in front of his company by unknown individuals during the night hours.

Spring Aqua Mineral Water

At the same time, Spring Aqua Mineral Water also located in Neezoe community is among several water companies accused by consumers for not meeting the standards required by the government.

Sekou Swaray, the proprietor of the company said as far he is concerned; his company has all of what it takes to meet best standards as a mineral water company.

"We deal with water and sewer since I established the place about five years ago. We have been told by the customers that our water here is good. We are selling our sac of water for L$75.00," he said.

According to Swaray, there are some companies that are producing illegally in the country and are having serious effects on their businesses. "We have some people that are producing with only one machine and they produce and cool. Commerce and finance ministries have no records on them because they are not registered. We need inspections from those ministries and the press," he added.

At Spring Aqua, our reporter was denied access to the facility for photograph by Mr. Swaray on ground that most of the objects can appear bigger on camera when the photos are taken.

Water Producers

When contacted, the Secretary General of the Liberia Water Producers Association, Loseney A. Jabateh told this paper that the association is faced with serious challenge.

Jabateh further indicated that there are over 482 water producing companies in the country, but they have been told that only 82 of them are legally registered.

He also added that as per their record, over 250 are registered.

Regarding the 'embarrassing environmental conditions', Jabateh confirmed that some of the companies' facilities and operations are not standardized and he warned those involved to take note.

Ministry of Commerce

According to the Ministry of Commerce administrative regulation circulated November 2016 regarding commercialization of packed-drinking water on the local market in the country, all packaged water shall be packaged in a manner that protects and preserves composition, quality, purity, hygiene and safety of the product from harmful contamination.

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