- as sachet water remains main source of drinking water
Many households have started calculating the additional cost that will be incurred by drinking commercial water, as the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPAWAP) has announced an upward increment in the price of sachet and bottled water effective Monday, September 19, 2022.
As a result, 500ml bottled water will be retailed at GH¢2, and 750ml bottled water or medium-sized will be retailed at GH¢3. Also, sachet water will be sold at GH¢0.50p and a bag of sachet water (500ml by 30) will now sell at GH¢7 from the retail trucks. Mini-shops will also sell a bag of sachets at GH¢9 per bag. However, there might be slight variations across regions due to haulage to remote and distant areas.
The Mensah family who stay at Kanda, a suburb of Accra, say they will now have to spend GH¢135 instead of the GH¢105 they usually spend on the 15 bags of sachet water purchased every month.
“We buy four bags of sachet water every week, and at times 15 bags a month. We are a family of six, and from beginning of the year till now the prices keeps changing; even before the announcement we bought one bag last week for GH¢7,” the family told B&FT.
Also, the Bafour family (a family of five) at Adjiringanor who use about 10 bags of sachet water monthly said they are bracing up to now spend GH¢90 instead of the initial GH¢40 they spent in January on bags of sachet water.
“In January we spent GH¢40 on just sachet water. The prices here differ depending on the brand. But the one we bought early this month was sold at GH¢6 per bag and others at GH¢7 and GH¢8. Given the announced increment coupled with the utility tariffs, we are all just hoping that things bounce back quickly,” a member of the Bafour family said.
At Frafraha, Gloria’s family will now pay GH¢90 for 10 bags when in February this year it cost them GH¢50.
Some individuals who also shared their grievances told the B&FT that they used to spend between GH¢4 to GH¢6 on bottled water in the office before going home. But with the said reviewed prices, they will from September, 19 spend at most GH¢12 in a day – which will be GH¢60 a week.
“On a sunny day, I buy at most four bottles of water before I leave the office. So, if it will be GH¢3 now then I might spend GH¢12 a day and GH¢60 a week. What I will do now is to buy the whole pack and be picking from it,” John Paul at Osu noted.
According to producers, the price reviews have been necessitated by the rising cost of inputs such as fuel and packaging materials which are mainly imported – as well as electricity and water tariff increments which took effect September 1, 2022.
The 2021 Ghana Population and Housing Census report on Water and Sanitation indicate that, in urban areas, the main source of drinking water is sachet water – which is used by 51.5 percent of households. In all, 37.4 percent of households use sachet water as their main source of drinking water, followed by pipe-borne water which is used by 31.7 percent of households; and borehole/tube that is used by 17.7 percent of households.
Although pipe-borne water is the second-most common source of drinking water, households have expressed doubt about its safety; saying that occasionally it tastes a little salty, or is coloured when it should be colourless.