By: Foday Manneh
Following a press statement by the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) on Thursday morning confirming that an unknown person had placed an unknown substance in Basse’s water tank, residents of the Upper River Region raised severe concerns soon after over the incident.
“During a routine inspection, it was found that an unscrupulous person(s) had broken the lock to the hatch of the water tank and had placed an unknown substance in the tank,” NAWEC confirmed.
The worrying news delivers a chaotic situation in the region as one of the residents, Muhammed Sonko, described the occurrence as “gross negligence” by NAWEC.
“Absolute negligence from NAWEC in such a sensitive place like the water tank; that place should be operated by security 24/7. Who knows what the person put in the tank? This would have been a mass murder for URR,” Muhammed said.
Fatou Jallow of Basse Koba Kunda said, “I was shocked when I heard about it. Is it possible we have been drinking unhealthy water? Does no one know? For our safety, we must return to our unfiltered Well waters that are safe for now.’
Another resident living in Basse Mansajang Kunda, Lamin Danso, said the incident is a tremendous public safety concern hence the suspected substance is unknown.
“As a result, many would at this material time, especially myself, not have much confidence in the quality of water NAWEC supplies, until and unless the unit responsible holds a press briefing or a radio talk show to assure further,” Lamin said.
Many communities in URR get their source of clean drinkable water from the affected tank. However, NAWEC said the Police investigation unit and other relevant stakeholders had been informed, and samples were taken from the tank for further lab analysis.
While confirming that the affected tank has been isolated, the national water company has assured its commitment to providing safe and reliable water to the people of URR.
The Alkamba Times further contacted NAWEC to gauge their reaction to the concerns raised by the residents, but all efforts proved futile.