The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) has sealed off some production factories that engage in packaged water production, for falling short of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This is as the Lagos State Government has intensified inspection of bottled and sachet water facilities.
The disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the Executive Secretary of LSWRC, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, on Tuesday. She said that the level of poor and unwholesome practices discovered in some water factories in the State was not only disheartening but frightening.
She added that as the regulatory body empowered by law to enforce standards, the LSWRC would not fold its arms and watch some individuals put the lives of residents in jeopardy on account of economic gains, and that every necessary effort would be mustered to protect the people from consuming unwholesome water.
What the Executive Secretary of LSWRC is saying
Mrs Adepoju said, “We are not all out to hound businesses. On the contrary, we want water producers to do business and thrive. However, in doing business, safety procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) must be strictly observed.’’
While stating that enforcement operations were carried out at some water production factories in the State with on-site testing kits, the Executive Secretary said the results confirmed that most of them operated far below safety parameters.
She said, “As the regulatory body empowered by Section 313 (h) of the Lagos State Environmental Management Protection Law, 2017, to regulate the activities of those engaged in the provision, consumption, treatment, packaging, sales and supply of bottled drinking water contained in bottles or polythene bags, our principal interest is to ensure acceptable standards.’’
Adepoju vowed that the enforcement exercise would be intensified and sustained, and noted that the Commission was working with relevant stakeholders such as the Association of Water Producers (ATWAP) and Water Producers Association of Nigeria (WAPAN), among others, to enforce standards.
She said the sealed facilities would remain shut until the owners of such factories strictly complied with all safety procedures and duly registered for further monitoring in order to facilitate compliance with best practices in the future.
Adepoju also said, “Water producers, beverage producers, bottling companies and operators in the water abstraction and production industry must come to terms with the fact that the LSWRC would not shy away from strictly enforcing regulatory provisions in the bid to ensure residents consume only safe and hygienic water.”
The LSWRC boss urged residents to report any water production factory in their neighbourhood suspected to engage in unwholesome practices, to the Commission for appropriate action, emphasising the need for people to key into the Safe Water campaign of the Commission and work with the government to protect residents.