Nigeria: Lagos Commission Assures Consumers of Qualitative Water Supply

The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, set up by the Lagos State Government to protect the long term interests of consumers, among other objectives, has reaffirmed its commitment towards providing qualitative water supply to residents of the state.

This assurance came from the Chairman of the commission, Taiwo Shebioba when he hosted stakeholders to a workshop to analyse the provisions of the regulations recently approved by the Lagos State Government for drinking water quality.

The one-day workshop with the theme – “Understanding the Lagos State Regulations for Drinking Water Quality” was organised to sensitise everyone whom the regulations apply to, especially service providers. It offered the participants, who were robustly involved in the interactive sessions, the opportunity to ask questions, familiarise themselves with the work of the commission and appreciate the objectives of the Lagos State Government in coming up with the regulations.

Delivering a welcome address at the workshop, Mr. Shebioba informed the participants that the “regulations form part of a larger proposal to ensure that consumers in Lagos State receive qualitative water supply and that everyone undertaking a venture that makes such water available is held accountable for the quality of such water.” He recognised the role of the private sector in water supply in Lagos but emphasised the commission’s objective to protect the long-term interests of consumers with regard to quality, price and reliability of services in that sector.

It is in furtherance of the mandate of the commission that she has developed the framework for monitoring the delivery of the service being offered the public, especially as the “failure to ensure quality of public drinking water supplies, as well as any consequential contamination has the potential to affect thousands of people at the same time.”

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Tanwa Koya who, gave an overview of the Lagos State Regulations for Drinking Water Quality spoke on sevral issues among which include the status of the water sector, the challenges in water supply, the role of the commission.

The regulations, she said, would apply to all persons that produce water for drinking and for the production of food and drinks served to the Public, whether served as part of a commercial enterprise or otherwise and are meant to protect public health. These regulations have as baseline the newly reviewed National Standards for Drinking water quality issued by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation Standards for drinking water. The Regulations identify the need to divide the state into zones for ease of monitoring. They define what qualifies as “wholesome” water as the minimal quality to be supplied. They also provide for monitoring and taking samples for audit checks, what to do in the event of a breach or infringement, where the standards are not achieved; what producers and vendors or sellers are to do if a potential for contamination exists or suspected contamination is found.

The regulations also provide for action to be taken to protect drinking water sources and infrastructure, what investigations must be carried out and how remedial action is to be undertaken. Other provisions cover the disinfection process, risk assessment, and the need for service providers to provide information and keep records.

Mrs Koya who noted that the supply of clean and safe drinking water is required for the sustenance of life, commended the governor for showing commitment to ensuring that Lagosians are provided with safe and reliable drinking water.

She commended the administration for increasing the capacity of the state-owned provider, Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC) to meet the State water supply demand by renewing existing water supply infrastructure and building new ones in order that “everyone has access to clean water for drinking and other domestic purposes”.

Fashola had, while approving the regulations, reiterated the commitment of his administration to surmount the challenge of increasing water supply to an ever-growing population in Lagos, with the continuous improvement in infrastructure such as the 70MGD Adiyan Phase II Project being constructed.

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