The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, sealed 30 Water Factories across the State for various infractions.
The factories were sealed by the enforcement team of LASWARCO for various violations such as unhygienic production environment, failure to comply with regulatory provisions and operating without adhering to good manufacturing practices.
This was made known by the Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, Mrs Funke Adepoju, who said the enforcement was in line with the mandate of the Commission to protect residents from unhygienic water consumption, stressing that the exercise would be sustained.
What the Executive Secretary of LASWARCO is saying
Mrs Adepoju said prior to the enforcement, LASWARCO had taken steps to engage and sensitise producers on best practices in the interest of residents, and also the financial viability of their investments.
She said, “In as much as we have the mandate to ensure that operators remain in business, we also cannot fold our arms and allow infractions to fester without being addressed. The primary regulatory mandate of the Commission is to ensure that operators in the water abstraction, production and distribution industry comply with best manufacturing procedures to safeguard the health of the people.’’
She lamented that the level of poor and unwholesome practices discovered in some water factories in Lagos was not only disheartening but frightening, vowing that LASWARCO would do all within its powers to ward off any attempt to put the lives of residents in jeopardy.
Going further, the LASWARCO boss explained, “The enforcement team of LASWARCO 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 restated the commitment of the government to ensure that residents have access to potable and safe drinking water in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda and Goal Six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), insisting that the factories would remain sealed until their owners comply with all safety procedures and duly register for further monitoring in order to facilitate compliance with best practices.
What you should know
It can be recalled that earlier in February 2021, the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission 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.
LASWARCO had 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
The state government has reiterated its commitment to a viable water sector, which is critical to economic growth, as well as the wellbeing and prosperity of Lagosians.