In a bid to prevent the distribution of contaminated waters, the Lagos State Government has sealed no fewer than 14 water production factories across the state for falling short of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The state government said that the premises were sealed after its agency, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC), discovered that the level of poor and unwholesome practices discovered in some water factories in the state was not only disheartening but frightening.
Confirming closure of the factories, Executive Secretary of LSWRC, Funke Adepoju, in a statement on Tuesday, after the enforcement operations, said that the regulatory body was empowered by law to enforce standards in water production.
Adepoju stressed that LSWRC would not allow some individuals to put lives of residents in jeopardy on account of economic gains, adding, every necessary effort would be mustered to protect the people from consuming unwholesome water.
The LSWRC boss maintained that the facilities would remain shut until the owners strictly comply with all safety procedures and duly register for further monitoring in order to facilitate compliance with best practices, going forward.
Adepoju said water producers, beverage producers, bottling companies, and operators in the water abstraction and production industry must come to terms with fact that LSWRC would not shy away from strictly enforcing regulatory provisions with the bid to ensure residents consume only safe and hygienic water.
According to her, “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.
Besides, Adepoju 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.