Following the cholera outbreak in some areas of the state, the Ogun state government has announced that it will perform compliance checks at all table and sachet water factories in the state.
Any company failing the test, according to the government, “will be shut down and remain so until it passes the laid down procedures.”
Out of almost 250 instances of cholera that have been reported in the state’s Ijebu North, Abeokuta North, and Abeokuta South local government areas, at least 12 people have passed away.
Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya, while speaking to a group of stakeholders from the Ministries of Environment, Health, and Industries Trade and Investment as well as members of the Table Water and Beverages Producers Association of Nigeria Ogun State Chapter, noted that the compliance exercise became necessary to address the environmental and hygienic negligence found in their production processes.
This is contrary to their previous accreditation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), according to Oresanya, which “resulted in the outbreak of cholera which claimed some lives while others were hospitalised.”
He explained that the state government “will now conduct the compliance exercise to reinforce and domesticate their NAFDAC certification in all the twenty local government areas of the state as the team will move to all water producing factories for on the spot assessment of their production processes.”
“The team will among others demand for routine microbial analysis results of their products, check the distance of their production boreholes to their and septic tanks, their operational environment as well as medical certificate of fitness of their products for human consumption.
“For clarity all registered and unregistered water producing factories will be visited and any one of them that fail the compliance exercise will be shut and will remain so until it passes the laid down procedures before it is opened for business in the public interest.”
Oresanya called for the stakeholders’ full support, saying the state government “is not out to witch hunt any of them but to safeguard the health of its residents from preventable water borne diseases as well as set a healthy standard for their products, which have suffered from negative public acceptance in the aftermath of the disease outbreak.”
In response, Femi Olukoga, Chairman of the Table Water And Beverage Producers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, expressed his members’ support for the exercise.
He stated that the exercise would assist the body in sanitising its members as well as weeding out quacks whose activities are detrimental to the well-being of the state’s citizens.