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Water Crisis Hits Sierra Leone

By Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Over the past few days the nation of Sierra Leone has been bedeviled with a very serious water crisis that had culminated into the price of water being increased to prohibitive levels.

The sachet of water that used used to be sold at five hundred Leones for two sachets and four sachets for one thousand Leones is now going for five hundred Leones for one sachet or one thousand Leones for three sachets while the small bottled water that used to be two thousand Leones is now three thousand Leones and the big bottle that used to go for five thousand Leones is now six thousand Leones.

Speaking to 40 Acres Canada, the Deputy Chairman of the producers of the Sachet and Bottled Waters Association, Mr. Amin Hudrouge, stated that the prices of all the materials that they use to produce the water as well as taxes have gone up. 

He also revealed that the fuel and even the rent that they pay for their factory premises have also gone up as the transactions were pegged to the United States Dollar.

Mr. Hudrouge further noted that they also have a lot of other expenses to grapple with, like using vehicles, paying of salaries and allowances, which have all forced them to raise the price of a bundle of twenty sachets water from two thousand five hundred Leones to three thousand five hundred Leones.

In response to this price hike, the Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission was quick to condemn the decision of water producers to raise prices without first engaging them. 

In a press release on Monday, October 7, 2019, the regulatory body reversed the prices to their former places and called on the citizens not to buy water at the new high prices but at the old prices. 

They appealed to consumers to report to the Commission any individual, group of persons or company that will sell water at the new raised prices.

As events continue to unfold the water producers say they cannot sell water at the old prices but the Commission says they should list down all their concerns and meet with them in order to resolve the issues. 

As these tensions continue to rage between the water producers and the regulatory body the retailers who had already started selling water at the new prices have continued to sell it at the new prices, so now we buy one sachet of water instead of two for five hundred Leones and three sachets instead of four for one thousand Leones.

This is Sierra Leone today.