- call for proper attention to sanitise the industry
Vice President for the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers, Richard Abotsivia, has bemoaned the rising number of unregularised water producers – a situation he said is affecting the quality of water produced in the country.
According to Mr. Abotsivia, there are quite a number of sachet-water producers that are working and distributing water to various shops in the capital without having approval from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to operate.
He explained that most producers use filters and other machines which do not meet hygienic standards set by the FDA; thereby posing risks to consumers and also tarnishing the industry’s image.
“There are about 2,000 producers operating of which the FDA is not yet aware. Most of them do not want to be known by the Association because they did not pass through the process. Due to that, they will not come because they do not meet the standards; so they prefer being out there on the quiet, selling at low prices just to undermine the market,” he said.
Speaking to the B&FT, Mr. Abotsivia indicated that there has been a lot of engagement between the Association and FDA, which is the primary regulator of the industry, on how best to deal with the problem – but to no avail.
He said the problem remains a great challenge after a lot of efforts were made in the past to do away with unclean water that flooded the market.
According to him, the industry provides direct employment for a great number of Ghanaians who would have otherwise been unemployed – with its negative consequences for the nation; noting that its contribution to direct jobs created is enormous, and NASPAWAP alone employs a larger amount of the workforce compared to the public sector.
Call on FDA
Mr. Abotsivia, proffering some measures to address the issue, called on the FDA to introduce registered plates which would be placed at the various factories to help in identifying producers that have actually registered with them.
Call on government
Calling on government, Mr. Abotsivia stated that it would be of great help to the Association and country at large if their contribution to the economy is appreciated and help to properly regulate their work is given, which will help in the pricing of sachet water.
He revealed that if rapid interventions are not introduced, a lot of bad practices which have been on the rise in production of both sachet and bottled water will have a negative impact on the economy.