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NAFDAC seals 2 sachet water factories in Imo



The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down two sachet water factories in Owerri for operating in unhygienic environments.

The agency further cautioned another factory during the routine inspection carried out on Friday in the Imo capital city.

The two affected factories included Elmabo Table Water and Sylchap Enterprise Table Water, while Giver Table Water was cautioned over minor issues.

In an interview with newsmen at the end of the enforcement, the Imo NAFDAC Coordinator, Mrs Mercy Ndukwe, said the factories were sealed for poor manufacturing practices.

Ndukwe said: “We have invited them all to visit NAFDAC office with their licences for verification.

“Looking at the factories we visited, the agency is not happy seeing the environment they were operating on.

“NAFDAC’s minimum requirement is four to five rooms for small scale operators to operate a water production facility.

“At the time we registered them, these rooms were available but today, most of the rooms have been converted to other uses, like living rooms and other businesses.”

The NAFDAC chief expressed concern that cholera and other diseases could breakout from such unhygienic environments, if not given proper attention.

Ndukwe recalled that the agency, about three weeks ago, directed the water association in the state to close all operations for two days for proper cleaning and sanitisation of factories to avert cholera outbreak.

“In spite of the directive, we are very sad to see the environment where they operate in to be unhygienic,” she said.

She cautioned other producers “to sit up and conduct self sanitisation of their premises.”

“They should ensure that those they leave their businesses to run adhere strictly to the directives of NAFDAC.

“Our aim is not to close down factories or push them out of business but to ensure that Nigerians consume wholesale and hygienic food and water,”
Ndukwe further said.

She expressed the willingness of the agency to organise free trainings for the operators of table water factories in the state on the best practices.

It was reported that the enforcement was carried out by NAFDAC, in collaboration with the Imo House of Assembly Committee on Health and Environment as well as the state chapter of the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP).

The Vice Chairman of ATWAP, Mrs Joy Uwakwe, expressed the support of her association to the enforcement by the agency.

“The association is in support of ensuring that water sold to consumers are clean and treated for consumption for Imo residents.

“The most unfortunate thing that happened today is that the sealed factories are not members of ATWAP,” Uwakwe said.

Also, the chairman, Imo House of Assembly Taskforce on Health and Environment, Chief Odyssey Obioha, expressed concern that the test conducted for quality at the facilities showed that the water was not safe for drinking.

Obioha said that a similar test was conducted on different sachets of water at the Imo State House of Assembly where it was discovered that most of them were unsafe for consumption.

“The discovery necessitated the inspection of water production facilities in the state, in collaboration with NAFDAC and ATWAP.

“The outbreak of cholera in the country has become an issue and the State Government is determined to ensure that Imo is free from cholera,” Obioha said.

Peter Okolie

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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