By: Gloria Wleh
CLAIM: “Please, do not buy or drink any bottled water called “DEW.” It was shipped from Tanzania, where it has killed 180 people. It is said to contain poisonous chemicals”.
The government of Liberia has said ‘it has no knowledge about “DEW” bottled water that has killed 180 persons in Tanzania to be currently on the local market.’
FULL TEXT: “Hello, please pass this to any friends on your contact list – I just got this. Please, don’t buy or drink bottled water called ‘DEW.’ It was shipped from Tanzania, where it has killed 180 people. It is said to contain a poisonous chemical. Please pass this on and save millions. If you don’t believe it check google for ‘Dew bottled water. “Save lives as I just saved yours.”
VERIFICATION: The message circulating on Whatsapp and Facebook that is warning consumers not to ‘buy or drink’ any bottled water called “DEW’ has been unconfirmed by the government of Liberia through the Ministries of Health and Commerce.
Speaking separately about the viral social media warning, the Ministry of Health, through its Communication Director, Felicia Gbesioh said they had not identified the deaths of Liberians through such a situation yet.
The Communication Head of the Ministry of Commerce, Jacob Parley, said, “The Ministry does not have any information about such poisonous bottled water in the country.”
This viral social media message is not new. It is not only in Liberia; it also surfaced in Ghana and Nigeria and was fact-checked separately by Africa Check, Snopes, PesaCheck, and Dubawa in 2020 and proven to be ‘false.
Both reports showed that the message has been online since 2011 and has popped up several times in subsequent years.
However, our research is yet to lay hands on any verified information about this “DEW” bottled water that ‘has killed 180 people in Liberia or elsewhere.
CONCLUSION: From 2011 till now, no substantive evidence has proven this viral social media message to be true. But from Liberia, the news is yet to be confirmed or denied by health authorities or the Ministry of Commerce; it stands to be unconfirmed.