Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), on Tuesday seized seven inline un-metered electric water pumps illegally connected on its water distribution lines at Mamobi, a suburb of Accra.
During an operation in the area, at least 19 spots, including bedrooms, kitchens, shops, verandas, backyards and unused structures, were found to be hiding places for un-metered pumps illegally connected to the AVRL water lines.
The operation came on the back of recent reports that Mamobi Polyclinic had for months now, not had potable water flow through their taps, for which residents of that community accused AVRL.
Last week, a team comprising the AVRL Loss Control Team (LCT), the Mamobi East/West and Nima Neighbourhood Watchdog Committee (NWC) and some security personnel undertook a similar operation in the area and seized 20 electric pumps.
In this operation, it was discovered that while several homes did not have potable water flowing through their taps others were siphoning water illegally from the AVRL pipes through the use of hidden electric pumps and selling them to residents of the community at 20 pesewas per one big yellow gallon.
Mr Stanley Martey, External Communications Manager of AVRL told journalists that the amount of water supplied to the area was enough to have benefited the entire community, including the polyclinic, but for the numerous illegally connected electric suck-away pumps connected to the lines.
He said AVRL discovered from its Geographical Information System (GIS) monitoring station that the pressure in the pipelines in that community had changed.
“Following tip-offs from informants and from the NWC in the area, we discovered the exact spots of the illegally connected pumps,” he said.
Madam Bukari Busim, on whose veranda a pump was found, wept, saying “everybody in this area has installed a pump in their rooms so why are you removing mine.”
Madam Busim said she was old and weak and could not do any job therefore she was selling the water to make a living.
At other places where similar discoveries were made, including houses numbered BIS 35A and BIS 45A, the owners were on the run.
In a shop, where as many as six terminals to removed pumps were found, the shop owner, who refused to give her name, said she was not aware that the pumps were in her shop.
At four different places, it was discovered that there used to be metered pumps, which had been disconnected and replaced with un-metered ones to avoid payment of bills.
The particulars on those meters were taken and the owners had been invited to AVRL to regularize their records and pay for the water used or face prosecution.
“Illegal connection is a crime against the State and offenders are to be prosecuted, but those who will co-operate with us will be spared from facing the law,” Mr. Martey said.
Mr. Amadu Ibrahim, Chairman of the NWC, said within the past two-and-a-half years, the committee had discovered more than 150 illegal water pumps in the area.
He warned residents of the area that the operation would continue until all illegal connections were dealt with to allow water to flow freely for the benefit of the entire community.
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