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Ogun probes water factories over cholera outbreak

The Ogun state government says it will conduct compliance exercises on all table and sachet water factories in the state, following the outbreak of cholera…

The Ogun state government says it will conduct compliance exercises on all table and sachet water factories in the state, following the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the state.

The government vowed that any company that failed the test “will be shut and remain so until it passes the laid down procedures.”

Our correspondent reports that at least 12 persons have died out of about 250 cases of cholera recorded in Ijebu North, Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South local government areas of the state.

Addressing a stakeholders meeting comprising members of the Table Water And Beverages Producers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter and officials of the Ministries of Environment, Health and Industries Trade and Investment, Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya, said the compliance exercise became imperative to address the environmental and hygienic negligence detected in their production processes.

This, Oresanya, said was in variance to their earlier certification by the National Agency For Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) that “resulted in the outbreak of cholera which claimed some lives while others were hospitalized.”

Oresanya said 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 commissioner said, “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 a total support of the stakeholders, saying the state government “is not out to witch hunt any of them but safeguard the health of its residents from preventable water borne diseases as well set a healthy standard for their products which have suffered from negative public acceptance in the aftermath of the outbreak of the disease.”

Responding, the Chairman of the Table Water And Beverages Producers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, Femi Olukoga pledged his members’ support for the exercise.

He noted that the exercise would help the body to sanitize its members and weed out quacks whose activities were inimical to the well-being of residents of the state.

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