Hundreds of people from all walks of life are trooping to Adomfe, a small town in the Asante Akyem South District in the Ashanti Region, to fetch water from a borehole which is believed to heal all manner of illnesses.
They are not perturbed by any cost – be it money, distance or long queues for hours and days – to fetch the water for their personal use and for their relatives and friends, far and near.
One gallon (popularly called Kufuor gallon) of the borehole water is being sold for GHC 10 to visitors and GHC 1 to community members.
And when the Daily Graphic visited Adomfe last Friday, a day reserved for visitors to fetch the water, there were long queues of people carrying gallons.
The atmosphere was one of mixed feeling, with people who were fortunate to fetch the water wearing smiles on their faces, while anxiety was written on the faces of those yet to have their turn. News about the healing potency of the Adomfe borehole water has even gone beyond the shores of Ghana, as some Ghanaians living abroad call their relations back home to go fetch the water for their ailing relatives.
Some residents of Adomfe are said to be doing brisk business, fetching and selling the borehole water to visitors. The Daily Graphic learnt that some pastors had visited the borehole site, while other prominent people had also sent emissaries to fetch the water for them.
The only proof of the healing power of the borehole water lies in the testimonies of people who have used it.
“This water is very good. I have used some already and it’s good; that is why I’ve come for more,” an elderly woman told the Daily Graphic, as she carried a gallon of the borehole water on her head with broad smiles on her face.
Madam Yaa Fosu Hemaa was waiting patiently for her turn to fetch the water after joining the queue for more than five hours before the visit of the Daily Graphic. “I have an ear problem and afterputting some of the water into my ear, I felt an improvement in my condition. So I’ve come to fetch more of the water,” she said.
In another instance, a man was said to have testified that his wife could not take seed again nine years after giving birth to their only child, but after drinking the borehole water, she had become pregnant.
The power of these testimonies had lured Madam Akua Comfort from Ohene Nkwanta at Konongo-Odumase to Adomfe with a ‘Kufuor gallon to fetch the water for her ailing mother who is stricken with waist pain and swollen legs. “I have a heart problem and so I’ll also drink some of the water,” she added.
However, one woman the Daily Graphic spoke to was not enthused about the borehole water because after drinking it, she said she didn’t experience any of the borehole’s supposed healing powers.
The borehole was sunk in September 2008, but, according to Mr Wilberforce Obeng Anane, popularly called WO Anane, the people abandoned it for five years.
That was because they did not find the water suitable for cooking and, when they used it for washing and bathing, the soap did not lather.
He said he later learnt that the borehole water was hard water, hence the inability of soap to lather when the water was used for bathing and washing. Mr Anane, who is the Financial Secretary of the Water and Sanitation Committee at Adomfe, said having read about hard water from the science notes of his nephew in Junior High School and also done further research into it, he discovered the health benefits of the water and started proclaiming same to the people.
He said following the promotion of the water, some people tried it and immediately many of them started giving testimonies of its healing potency against diabetes, heart diseases, abnormal menstrual cycle and other sicknesses.
What is hard water?
According to scientists, water is considered to be hard when it has relatively high levels of calcium and magnesium and other metals. Water is referred to as hard because it requires more soap for a good lather, making it harder to clean with than soft water, which, unlike hard water, contains few of calcium and magnesium and other metal cations.
Scientists say hard water is not harmful to human health. Rather, it has many health benefits when compared to soft water because calcium and magnesium are considered essential nutrients required in diet to maintain healthy body functions.
“Calcium is a critical component of bone, and has many positive effects on the body, as well as the prevention of serious life-threatening and painful ailments like osteoporosis, kidney stones, hypertension, stroke, obesity and coronary artery disease,” according to information from a website on chemistry: http://chem.wiki. ucdavis.edu. “Magnesium also has positive health effects because inadequate amounts of magnesium in the body increase the risks for health problems, such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus.
“Studies done on the health effects of hard and soft water have shown that people who drink greater amounts of soft water have much higher incidences of heart disease, as well as higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels and faster heart rates, than those who drink mostly hard water,”
Scramble for Adomfe hard water
The source of hard water at Adomfe is believed to be rocks beneath the ground on which the borehole was sunk.
In view of the high patronage, the managers of the boreholes have scheduled days on which visitors and community members are allowed to fetch the water.
The borehole is opened to visitors on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, while the community members are given access on the remaining days – Mondays, Wednesdays,Thursdays and Saturdays.
Upon arrival, one has to register and wait for his or her turn to be served according to the numbering on the registration list in an orderly arrangement supervised by Mr Anane. However, Mr Anane gives room for what he termed as “consideration” to people with special needs, such as the aged and the sick, who are served earlier than their position on the registration list.
Some of the community members complained that whereas they were restricted to the number of gallons with which they could fetch the water, visitors were allowed to fetch as many as they could. Business Meanwhile, some community members are cashing in on the situation by fetching the water at a low cost of GHC 1 and selling it to visitors at GHC10.
But there are concerns about dubious business practices, as some people allegedly mix the borehole water with tap water for sale to unsuspecting visitors.
The Gyaasehene of Adomfe, Nana Boakye Yiadom, advised visitors to endeavour to fetch the water from the borehole in order not to fall prey to such fraudsters.
He appealed to the government to support the community with a big water tank in order to ensure that people, especially those who travelled long distances to the place, could fetch the water in good time.
Commercial drivers plying routes from Adomfe to Konongo and other surrounding towns are also making brisk business, given the increased human traffic to and from Adomfe.