The enforcement team of the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) on Tuesday sealed 30 Water Factories across the State for various infractions ranging from unhygienic production environment, failure to comply with regulatory provisions as well as operating without adhering to good manufacturing practices.
Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, 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.
She 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.
Her words: “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”.
Mrs. Adepoju said 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.
Giving details of the enforcement, the Executive Secretary said, “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”, the Executive Secretary added.
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.
The Executive Secretary urged residents to report any water production factory in their neighbourhood suspected of involvement in unwholesome practices to the Commission for appropriate action, saying it is important for residents to key into the Safe Water Campaign of the Commission and work with the government to ensure compliance.