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General News of Thursday, 7 January 1999

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Fadama people prefer polluted water due to high bills

Wa (Upper West) 7 Jan. '99

The people of Fadama a suburb of Wa have stopped patronising pipe- borne water because they can not afford ''the high water bills'' and have resorted to using two ponds which are polluted with human and animal waste. While some people use the water from the Gengen and the Dakagili ponds for cooking and other household purposes, others wash their vehicles and do their laundry in them. Domestic animals also drink and defecate in and around the ponds. Mr. Mahama Mohamadu, Wa District Environmental Officer, said the ponds are polluted and should not be used for domestic purposes. Despite an educational campaign to stop the people from using the ponds for domestic purposes, they claim they have been drinking from these sources for decades without any infection. Mr. Mohamadu said as a long term measure, the Wa District Assembly in collaboration with Suntaa-Nuntaa, a Wa based Non-Governmental Organisation, is to fence the ponds and to develop them into a recreational centre. When the GNA visited the ponds women and children were fetching water while animals also were drinking from them. One women who was also drawing water at time claimed the water was good for consumption and said they do not go for pipe borne water because of the high water bills.