Tamale in 'coma' as dumsor and water shortage hit the city

Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:11
Residents searching for water in the midst of dumsor Residents searching for water in the midst of dumsor

Basic but critical utility services in Tamale are collapsing; a situation that is making life in the metropolis unbearable for residents.

Residents have in the last two weeks been experiencing unexplained intermittent power outages, which they say, sometimes last for 72 hours. This they say, is not affecting just their lives but their businesses as well.

Again, water has become a scarce commodity in the regional capital due to some operational challenges at the Ghana Water Company caused by the intermittent electricity cuts and technical hitches at the Dalun treatment plant.

Residents who are unable to afford water tanker services, the price of which have doubled in the last two weeks, now have to sacrifice their sleep at night in search of water. The Datoyili dam has now been the alternative for some of them.

The water supply situation at Tishigu, Choggu,  Gurugu, Target, Wurishe, SSNIT Flats, Kalpohini Lowcost and the Tamale campus of the University for Development Studies is worst as they have not had water in their taps for the past two weeks.

Washing bays, hotels and laundry services are the most affected businesses as they are unable to meet the demand from their clients. A trip of water which was previously sold between GHC 60 and GHC70 is now being sold at GHC120 Cedis, which is the cheapest.

A water tanker driver, Hussein Dawuda, explained the hikes is due to the unavailability of water in the region, hence travelled long distance to get water.

On electricity, the residents told TV3 Online, there has not been any communication as to why they keep experiencing frequent electricity cut, noting the situation is so bad that they sometimes feel "a toddler is playing with the power switches"

Responding to the issue, the Northern Regional Public Relations Officer of Ghana Water Nii Abbey, said: "the city is currently undergoing water rationing. The rationing has become necessary due to the some technical hitches at the Dalun treatment plant and the incessant power outages the city is currently facing."

He said until the electricity supply improves, residents will have to brace themselves up for more challenging time as they would have to spend more to get water from alternative sources.

The Northern Electricity Distribution Company which is responsible for electricity supply in the region explained the intermittent power cuts have been the cause of problems with some underground cables.

Its Public Relations Manager, Alhassan Ababa, noted a rainstorm that hit the metropolis on March 22 caused a tower that supplies power to the Dalun water treatment plant to collapse, something he said has affected water supply.

He said the tower was however repaired a week after the incident hence NEDCo cannot be blamed for the challenges in water supply from that time onwards.

By Zubaida Ismail|tv3network.com|Ghana