Hundreds of residents in the Bushrod Island and Lower Montserrado vicinities have expressed concerns over the production and sale of the City Life Mineral Water in the proximity of a petroleum filling station, and have appealed to the related authorities, including the Ministries of Health and Commerce, to quickly intervene.
The angry populace have threatened to shut down the City Life Mineral Water, if they failed to relocate.
“S. Omaru Filling Station in Duala, Bushrod Island does not only serve as a place where petroleum products are sold, it also serves as production and distribution site for sachet water, which many Liberians see as an alternative safe drinking water,” Teta Leesolee of Gbanjor said.
She stated that the taste of the water resembles gas, thus leaving them with no alternative but to stop drinking the City Life Mineral Walter.
Madam Arkie Weah of Bong Mines Bridge said they have called on the authorities responsible for regulation and inspection of water producing companies and the government to move on City Life mineral water so the producers can refrain from producing and selling water at the filling station.
She believes punitive measures are necessary for their action and thinks that the regulatory government agencies need to be more proactive in ensuring the safety of the public.
“We used to drink this water, but of late, we have tasted gas in the water; it’s unhygienic and harmful,” she said.
When contacted, the owner of the filling station, only identified as Omaru, refused to talk to the press. “I am not talking to anybody, you can go and write anything, even the water producing company is aware of my business,” he said.
At the same time, the Secretary General of the Association of Liberia Water Producers (ALWP) Lusennie Jabateh condemned the action of Omaru to sell gas at the same location as the production and sale of drinking water.
According to Jabateh, it is risky. “The proprietor needs to desist if that is what he is doing, the water producing standard did not call for that, you can’t sell water and gas at the same place, we will visit them and see for ourselves,” he said.
An executive at ALWP said the water, which tastes like fuel, causes various disorders of the skin, diabetes, kidney problems, as well as hypertension and heart ailments amongst others.
The executive member said they are considering, in collaboration with the residents, taking legal action against the company that is supplying ‘contaminated water’ to the public and in doing so are toying with public health.
Meanwhile, the poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy sachet or bottled water. As a result of this expanding market, a mushroom growth of mineral water manufacturers has been witnessed across the country over the past few years.