It has emerged that 0.7 percent of the total 12,000 metric tonnes of expired chemicals was used for treating water at the Weija Treatment Plant.
The revelation was made by the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, on Wednesday when he made available the outcome of the committee which investigated the incident.
Some aluminium sulphate (alum) imported from China by the Ghana Urban Water Company/Ghana Water Company to purify tap water expired last June, raising serious public health questions.
The sector Minister therefore inaugurated a six-member committee last month chaired by Albert A. Ogyiri, the immediate past President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, to investigate the alleged importation of expired alum for water treatment.
After its investigation, the committee recommended that four officials of the Ghana Water Company and Ghana Urban Water Company should be interdicted for their roles in the matter. They are: Miss Dora A Bonnah, Procurement Officer GUWL; Mr David Yankson, Procurement Officer GWCL; Edwin Kwamivi, Logistics Officer; and Evans Balaara, Chief Manager, Water Quality Assurance GUWL.
The committee among others observed that although at the time the alum entered the port of Tema, they were not expired, but by the time they were cleared, they had expired.
It was noted that even though the Ghana Standards Authority conducted analytical test and declared the sampled potent, “In the opinion of the committee, the testing of the alleged expired alum by the Standards Authority is clearly not within the mandate of the Authority”.
It further observed: “An independent chemist who spoke to the committee on the matter indicated that alum does not expire when stored well. It is also not poisonous or harmful when used to treat water. He explained further that when the potency goes down quantity used may be increased without any harm to the body.”
The committee also recommended that further investigation is conducted by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) into circumstances that led to the undue delay in the clearance of the chemicals as well as the rationale behind the testing of the alleged expired alum by the Ghana Standards Authority.