Amid reports of the proliferation of mineral water factories in the country, some of which are unpurified and unhygienic and are responsible for cholera, diarrhea and other sicknesses, the House of Representatives has begun a probe into their activities.
The Lower House yesterday, July 14, mandated its Committees on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, including Health and Judiciary, to investigate the proliferation of water companies.
The Joint Committee is expected to report and advise the House Plenary in two weeks.
Plenary’s mandate was prompted by a letter from Maryland County District # 2 Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers.
“I have observed, with grave concern, the proliferation of water producing entities throughout the country, providing different shades of water for our consuming public. It is not really certain to what extent these water companies are being regulated,” Rep. Chambers wrote.
“With the frequent outbreak of cholera throughout the country, it is very much important that we give attention to this sector so as to ensure that people are protected against unsafe and harmful water,” he said.
He added: “Predicated upon the foregoing, I earnestly request this body to invite the relevant agencies in this sector to give explanations regarding regulatory mechanism that guarantees the quality of this vital substance.”
Rep. Chambers, Chairman on National Defense, indicated that a stern regulation and closure would improve the quality of water and make the people of Liberia healthier.
A staff at the Ministry of Health, who begged for anonymity, told our reporter that about 45% of water companies in Liberia are not selling clean water, and their environment and infrastructures are very unhygienic and substandard.
A contractor on the Special Presidential Task Force, headed by Madam Mary Broh, said it was interesting to note that only a few of the mineral water companies they visited were decent.
It will be the first time since 2011 for the government to take mineral water companies to task for producing unhealthy water.