The House of Representatives has questioned the Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) , Nortu Jappah, for allegedly importing wrong chemical for the purification of water at the plant in White Plains.
Managing Director Jappah was summoned by the Lower House last week to explain factors responsible for the shortage of water in and around Monrovia, after Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas P. Fallah raised concern in a letter addressed to Plenary.
Appearing before the House Tuesday, Mr. Jappah blamed the situation of water shortage on the increment of the population in Monrovia. He said the population in and around Monrovia has outgrown the infrastructures.
Mr. Jappah further explained that prior to the civil conflict, Monrovia and its environs had the population of about 600,000 people, at which time the LWSC was pumping about 16-18 million gallons of water per day, but said with the increase in population to 1.4 million people and about five to six million gallons of water being pumped a day, the shortage continues to increase.
The entire hearing turned interesting when Lofa County Representative Moses Y. Kollie disclosed that the chemical used for the purification of the water was imported in a solid stone- Aluminium Sulfate rather than the regular powder used for water purification.
Rep. Kollie further said despite the Aluminium Sulfate being disqualified by the LWSC Deputy Managing Director for Operations in a letter to his boss in December 2011, Mr. Jappah went on to hire a grinding machine to grind the chemical into powder for use, something the Lofa County Lawmaker said would take up to 24 hours to dissolve after going through such process.
Rep. Kollie also noted that the shortage in the number of bags of the chemical ordered drastically reduced from 1,500 bags to 79 bags when it arrived in the country.
In response, the LWSC Managing Director who was speaking under oath alluded to the disclosure made by Rep. Kollie. He said the grinding process which is currently taking place in White Plains was decided after a test had proven that the chemical could be used for the purification.
Mr. Jappah informed the lawmakers that while on a business trip; he took sample of the chemical to Ghana for testing, at which time it was proven that the chemical could be used. He said the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) testing team had also declared the chemical useful after a test conducted at its Bushrod Island premises.
The hearing later drove into arguments across the floor, that lasted for several minutes, thereby forcing the then presiding officer, Rep. Wesseh Blamo to call for an executive session.
It can be recalled that the In Profile recently wrote an article indicating that the current management of the LWSC awarded a water treatment contract to an unknown firm that entered Liberia by way of Grand Gedeh County which has not been able to purify water the corporation needs to use in supplying the consuming public.