Lagos moves against cholera outbreak, unveils new water check, mobile laboratories

… As Industry Players Laud LASWARCO, Describe Facility as Nigeria’s First Fully-Equipped Lab

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday unveiled a state-of-the-art Water Check Laboratory and Mobile Lab to be administered by the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) as part of efforts to monitor the quality of water served to residents and effluent discharged into the environment.

Speaking at the event held at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the commissioning of the Water Check Laboratory located within the Complex and the Mobile Lab is part of the plan of the State government to comprehensively address cholera outbreak in Nigeria.

Bello said: “Nigeria is seeing one of its worst cholera outbreaks in years. As of September 14, 2021, about 69,925 suspected cholera cases were recorded in 25 States across the country and Abuja according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while about 2,323 people have died from suspected cases of cholera this year”.

He pointed out that the facility was a testament to the commitment of the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to deliver Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG 6) targeted at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The Commissioner said the development would further strengthen the pursuit of drinking water quality standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lagos State Drinking Water Quality and the WHO effluent quality standards, urging all players and other critical stakeholders in the State’s Water Sector to imbibe and sustain the culture of willful compliance to regulations of the State.

Earlier in her welcome address, Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, Mrs. Funke Adepoju said the construction of the first State-owned water check laboratory was approved by Mr. Governor to aid the Commission in the discharge of its compliance responsibilities with the aim of preserving the health and wellbeing of residents.

She said the water check laboratory is equipped to carry out a wide range of water and wastewater analysis including physical and chemical tests, biological and chemical oxygen demand parameters, as well as laboratory support services for polluted site remediation studies, while other useful indicators can be determined, among others.

“This water check laboratory will ensure among other things, Regulatory Compliance, Control Test Intensity Level, Repeatability and Objectivity through the offering of affordable rate for laboratory service irrespective of class or creed”, Adepoju said.

The Executive Secretary also informed that both the Water Check Laboratory and the Mobile Lab are equipped with facilities that can conduct water tests within five minutes, just as she assured that the present administration is committed to constructing other water testing laboratories in strategic locations across Lagos.

Speaking on behalf of industry experts, President of the Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria (SOLTAN), Dr. Laoye Oluwafemi Oyediran, congratulated the government and LASWARCO management for the feat, saying it would serve the intended purpose.

Oyediran, who is also the Chairman of Governing Council of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN), said: “The advent of COVID-19 brought to fore the need for testing. Before it, not many people want to test but if you don’t test you will not know what you are going through and that is exactly why it is necessary to carry out the test in any of the various laboratories that we have”.

“The beauty of the project we are commissioning today is that we have a mobile laboratory which is the first-of-its-kind in Nigeria that is fully equipped to be able to serve and deliver service to the people on the go”, he added.

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