Acute water shortage in the Upper East Regional town of Bongo has compelled residents to drink from contaminated sources.
The water many of the residents are said to be drinking has is highly concentrated with fluoride, a natural chemical which in high quantities damages bones and discolours teeth.
Fluoride is beneficial in lesser quantities and is found in minute amounts in most dentist-recommended toothpaste products. In high amounts though, it results in a fluorosis; a condition in which teeth are discoloured, and bones weakened.
Joy News reporter Manasseh Azure Awuni who was in the community reports that some residents have defied health warnings and resorted to drinking from the well due to the unavailability of water.
Aside drinking contaminated water, residents are unable to perform basic household duties that require the use of water.
A 17-year-old Junior High School (JHS) student was unable to go to school because she could not get water to wash her school uniform over the weekend.
She could not get water from the only standpipe in the area and the lone well is not reliable during the dry season either.
Like many residents in Bongo, her teeth have been discoloured due to intake of high fluoride contained in the water.
Their only hope is a well which is about 100 metres from the Bongo District Assembly.
About 10 metres away from the uncovered well is a borehole that has been capped.
Drilled in 1999 the borehole was later declared unsafe for drinking because of the high concentration of fluoride.
Water and Sanitation Schedule Officer for the Bongo District, Alegba Simon told Manasseh that 28 boreholes which were dug have also been capped for the same reason.
Residents have no option than to rely on the fluoride-concentrated well even though they are aware of the health implications of drinking water from it.
There is a 250 litre high-level tank in Bongo Central that supplies water to four communities. Each community gets water once every four days but some residents told Manasseh that the water they are supplied with is never enough.
Mr Alegba said Bongo Central will need two mechanized boreholes which will cost GH?80,000 to significantly solve the water situation.
Unfortunately, the District Chief Executive of the Bongo District, Alexis Ayamdo said the district cannot afford that amount of money.
Listen to Mannaseh’s report (scroll down)