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How Pure Is ‘Pure Water’?   
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Baaba Eshun
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Aside the fact that water is indeed life, the climate in the tropics makes water one of the most sought-after natural resources in the world.

But not all sources of water are healthy, and this has resulted in the formation of what has come to be known and accepted as ‘pure water’. Whether it’s packed in a bottle or a sachet, ‘pure water’ can be found any and everywhere – on the streets, in supermarkets, pharmacies, beauty and barbering shops, hospitals – just name it.

So popular and satisfying is ‘pure water’ that it’s found to be the main ‘litter component’ in all refuse dumps since in every pile of refuse, there are sachets or bottles which once contained this supposed ‘pure water’.

No one is to blame here; after all, water IS life. But how pure is this ‘pure water’ that everybody yearns for?

A quick look at the way it’s even handled will tell a story regarding the purity and wholesomeness of this treasured liquid that is needed to quench one’s thirst in high temperature areas.

All sorts of vehicles (mostly trucks and vans) transport bags and boxes of pure water to various destinations. Some of these trucks are not covered; hence there is direct contact with sunlight on the water. There are instances where these trucks – that are, by the way are not only very rickety, but unclean– conveying the ‘pure water’ are stuck in traffic for hours while the bags or boxes of water are exposed to the sunlight.

One may ask, what is the big deal about having sunshine over ‘pure water’? Experts claim when there is direct contact between sunlight and ‘pure water ‘ for long hours, it allows outside contaminants to penetrate the water and brings about water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhoea and dysentery. So, to those who are fond of buying ‘pure water’ from street hawkers who stand under the sun from morning till evening, please BEWARE!!! For it is not merely just a purchase of a super-cold water to quench one’s thirst, but an entire range of diseases as well.

Experts also encourage the public to store ‘pure water’ in clean environments – at room temperature – to prevent the water from being infected with bacteria and other microorganisms. However, most forms of ‘pure water’ storage in Ghana are rather poor and do not conform to this advice. Most of the production houses place the water on the bare floor where it is more than likely to pick up dirt. In some cases, the only barrier between the ‘pure water’ and the ground is a thin plastic mat or pages of old newspapers. Even though some ‘pure water’ production houses make wooden stands to place the water on them, there is always the accumulation of dirt underneath these stands that is not cleaned on a regular basis.


In view of the above, one can say without the slightest of doubt that pure water as they call it may not be necessarily as pure as everybody thinks.

There is therefore the urgent need for the authorities in charge to check the situation since the very water that consumers trust to be pure is at a high risk of being impure. People are more or less ‘buying diseases’ instead of buying healthy water. The methodology used in producing ‘pure water’ hasn’t even been considered, so at least, proper storage and caution needs to be taken into account since water is the basic necessity of life.
Source: Baaba Eshun-Wilson - [email protected]

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