Health

Stakeholders express concerns over faecal matter contamination of sources for sachet water production

According to a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey carried out by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2017–2018, feces are present in roughly 34.1% of the sources used to make sachet water.

After learning that 37.4% of Ghanaian households rely on Sachet Water as their primary supply of drinking water, statistics from the population and housing census of 2021 on the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector prompted officials to step up their warning.

The usage of Sachet water as the primary source of drinking water has increased fourfold in just over a decade, according to data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

In 2010, 9% of families used sachet water as their primary source of drinking water; by 2021, that percentage had increased to 31.7 %.

However, from 46.7 percent in 2010 to 31.7 percent in 2021, households used pipes as their primary source of drinking water.

The FDA was required to launch a thorough investigation into the manufacture of outlets involved in the creation of sachet water as a result of the revelation, which experts say poses a public health risk.

Dr. Peter Takyi Peprah, an assistant statistician and director of field operations at the Ghana Statistical Service, told journalists in Kumasi that the development raised questions about public health and urged regulatory bodies to increase their oversight of Sachet water manufacturing in Ghana.

“In 2017, a survey called the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey was carried out, in which we not only gathered data about the sources of drinking water but also went further to inquire about its quality. We tested the source of water for the households where we discovered that a particular percentage of the water was contaminated with feces. One would then inquire as to what was taking place. Faecal pollution merely indicates that there are toilets in our water, so as a nation, we must ask the FDA to begin rigorous monitoring and oversight.

In order to advise or shut down the company producing this Sachet water in the event that the water is contaminated, they should do their utmost to examine the sources of water on a regular basis, he said.

Participants in the transmission of the 2021 Population and Housing census data, which was centered on the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, were brought together by a regional level learning alliances platform.

Engineer George Asiedu, the project coordinator for the Greater Kumasi Sanitation and Water Project, emphasized the need of players in the WASH sector being aware of the census data in order to strive to improve the sector.

A collaborative working group between the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and stakeholders in the WASH sector has also been advocated by officials.

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