Rivers State Government has announced plans to ban the distribution of water between the hours of 7pm to 6am daily as part of efforts to get rid of quacks in the water distribution sector of the State.
Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja who made this known at the just concluded stakeholders engagement on Water Quality Standards and Regulations in Port- Harcourt, explained that, the move is to protect the lives of residents and investment of those engaged in genuine business in the sector.
He urged quacks in the sector to stop their nefarious and unpatriotic activities that impact the drinking public negatively.
The Commissioner enjoined Water Producers in the State to use the prescribed standard micron for the bottling and packaging of water for consumption and harped on the dangers of using substandard micron; arguing that exposure of the water to sunrays elicit chemical reactions that are injurious to human organs like liver, kidney amongst others when consumed.
”The prescribed micron is 38 and above. We discovered that some people use less than that while other who don’t have known business addresses, produce and sell contaminated and unhealthy water to members of the public, he added”.
He equally stressed on the need for Water Producers to cover their water or products while distributing them and directed that all water distributors should brand their distributing vans, with their names, telephone numbers and addresses included for easy identification of their products and called on members of the public to look out for companies that distribute their water uncovered and those with unbranded vehicles with a view to reporting same to the authorities.
In their various responses, President of Water Producers Association of Nigeria, WAPAN, Mr Egberi Odiri Markson and his counterpart, Association of Table Water Producers of Nigeria, ATWAP, Pastor Agape Onuh thanked the Commissioner and his team for putting together the programme and promised to partner with the Ministry by improving their surveillance in a bid to eliminating quacks in the sector.
They further expressed confidence that once quackery in the water sector is handled, the issue of having a unified price in the industry will be a thing of the past.