Influx of Sachet Water Business in Tamale
2006-05-28 11:51:40This article has been read 2129 times.The inability of successive governments to monitor the activities of the private sector has irrefutably given room to some business organizations to take undue advantage of the system to deliver unwholesome services and products to the Ghanaian public.
Although Ghana is on the threshold of promoting private sector development to enhance the employment opportunities for the idle youth, there is still the need for the authorities concerned, particularly the Ghana Standard Board and the Food and Drugs Board, to monitor the activities of the private sector and enforce existing laws to ensure quality products and service delivery on the Ghanaian market.
For now, it appears most entrepreneurs and business organizations are only interested in making huge profits out of their businesses to the detriment of Ghanaian consumers.
The Ghana Standard Board (GSB) and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) are therefore challenged to, as quickly as possible, take a critical look at the influx of the business of so-called 'treated water', popularly called 'pure water' and originally known as sachet water, which is posing serious threats to the lives of most Ghanaians in the rural and peri-urban area.
Information reaching the paper indicates that most of the sachet water-producing firms, which operate under very unhygienic conditions, are using fictitious symbols of GSB and FDB on their products to authenticate their quality standards.
Meanwhile, the Concerned Citizens Association of Tamale (CCAT), led by Bashiru Alhassan Daballi, has come out to wage war against all such companies identified in the Metropolis by the Association to ensure the health of the people.
Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle in Tamale, Mr. Daballi also charged the GSB and the FDB to monitor the activities of all the sachet water firms to ensure quality standards.
He said several reports and complaints had come to the notice of CCAT from some sections of the public with regards to the unhygienic production of sachet water in the metropolis.
One of the most highly patronized sachet water companies in Ghana, Voltic Ghana Limited, has come under public attacks for allegedly producing unwholesome water for the Ghanaian public and Tamale in particular.
Mr. Daballi, also the Convention People's Party (CPP) candidate in the recent Tamale Central by-election, said although the Cool Pac Mineral Water, produced by Voltic bore the symbols of FDB (FDB/WT-04G) and GSB, its quality standard was questionable.
He alleged that the brand was produced right in Tamale instead of the main producing centre of the company, thus creating doubt about the quality and standard of their laboratory equipment.
Daballi produced evidence of two different sachets water products of the popular company in the country; one of which contained some strange particles and the other with reddish tinge.
When The Chronicle contacted Mr. Frakash Mahbubani (an Indian National), who is Managing Director of Tolaram & Co. Ltd - the main distributor of the said product in the Northern Sector of Ghana, he duly admitted that the water was a product of his company and confirmed that it was produced in Tamale.
He could, however, not tell exactly what had caused the unusual situation. Attributing it to human error, Mahbubani apologized to the general public for any inconveniences this must have caused to their health.
Mr. Mahbubani, well known in business circles as Manersh, complained to the paper that some opinion leaders and some media personnel had brought similar products to his outfit, demanding ¢10 million and ¢5 million, without suggesting how the situation could be reversed.
Mr. Ben Simpson, General Manager of Voltic Ghana Ltd, confirmed in a telephone interview with The Chronicle that the Cool Pac Mineral Water was for Voltic Ghana. He also confirmed that Manersh was mandated to produce the water locally in Tamale.
Efforts to contact the Food and Drugs Board director in charge of the Northern Zone proved unsuccessful, as his two mobile phones could not be reached.