The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission’s (LASWARCO) enforcement team has sealed 30 water factories across the state for various infractions ranging from unsanitary production environments to failure to comply with regulatory provisions and operating without adhering to good manufacturing practices.
Mrs. Funke Adepoju, Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, told reporters that the action was in keeping with the Commission’s duty to protect citizens from unsanitary water use, and that the practice will be continued.
Prior to the action, she added, LASWARCO had taken measures to educate and engage producers on best practices in the interests of residents as well as the financial sustainability of their investments.
“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 stated that the amount of bad and unwholesome practices observed in some Lagos water factories was not only depressing but also scary, pledging that LASWARCO would do all in its power to prevent any effort to endanger the lives of people.
The Executive Secretary provided specifics on the enforcement below;
“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 reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring residents’ access to potable and safe drinking water in accordance with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda and Goal Six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), insisting that the factories would remain closed until their owners followed all safety procedures and registered for further monitoring in order to facilitate compliance with best practices.
Residents should report any water production factory in their neighborhood suspected of engaging in unwholesome practices to the Commission for appropriate action, according to the Executive Secretary, who also stressed the importance of residents participating in the Commission’s Safe Water Campaign and working with the government to ensure compliance.