23rd February, 2021
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) has sealed 14 packaged water production factories in the state for falling short of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Executive Secretary of LSWRC, Mrs Funke Adepoju, in a statement on Tuesday after the enforcement operations carried out by the Commission, said the level of poor and unwholesome practices discovered in some water factories in the state was not only disheartening but frightening.
She said 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.
According to Adepoju, “Yes, 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.
“In our recent enforcement operations, we visited some water production factories in the state with on-site testing kits and the result confirmed that most of them are operating far below safety parameters.
“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.”
She said the commitment of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is towards ensuring that residents have access to safe drinking water in line with the THEMES Agenda and goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals, just as she vowed that the enforcement exercise would not only be intensified but also sustained.
Already, she said the Commission was working with relevant stakeholders such as Association of Water Producers (ATWAP) and Water Producers Association of Nigeria (WAPAN), among others to enforce standards.
On the sealed facilities, Adepoju said they would remain shut until the owners of such factories strictly comply with all safety procedures and duly register for further monitoring in order to facilitate compliance with best practices, going forward.
Besides, she urged residents to report any water production factory in their neighborhood that is suspected to be involved in unwholesome practices to the Commission for appropriate action, saying it was important for the people to key into the Safe Water Campaign of the Commission and work with the government to protect them.
She 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 with the bid to ensure residents consume only safe and hygienic water.