Pure Water / Bottled Water Production in Nigeria
Pure Water / Bottled Water Production in Nigeria – The processing of water into sachets and bottled water involved the use of capital intensive technology. Technology is a technical term of transforming inputs into outputs at any particular time. It therefore connects factor inputs and outputs. The production function represents the technology of firms in an industry or in the economy as a whole. In essence, the production function encompasses all efficient technical methods of production. A production process is considered to be better than another when it uses less of at least one factor than all other alternative methods. This tends to explain that there are efficient and inefficient technical methods of production. However, basic theory of production concentrates only on efficient methods because rational entrepreneurs will only engage efficient methods (Olayemi, 2004).
The selection of an efficient production method among all technically efficient production techniques is an economic decision which depends on the prices of factors of production such as capital, labour etc (Koutsoyiannis, 1983; Henderson and Quandt, 2003; and Oyeniyi, 2005). All the technically efficient methods or combination of the factors of production for producing a given level of output involves the use of the production isoquants which assume various shapes depending on the degree of sustainability of the factors.
Packaged Water Production System
Packaged water production System transforms or convert raw, contaminated or polluted water into a packaged portable water. The direct inputs are water from public mains, springs and boreholes, machines for purification and labour. The resulting output is the treated potable water known as “Pure water” and packaged bottled water. The transformation process involves various purification technologies and techniques of production, skill, equipment and facilities which combined to form technological processes.
Quality Issues in Packaged Water Production
The quality of a product determines its market share. Market share of a product could increase or decrease based on issues concerning the quality of the product. Hence quality is the competitive priority of the promoters or managers (Buffa and Sarin, 2003). Issues bordering quality is a vital one in packaged water production because it affects human health directly and may cause death if compromised. Quality is therefore defined as “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements (BS EN ISO 9000, 2000). The quality of any packaged water is therefore determined by the degree of compliance with the guideline set by regulatory bodies or agencies. Determination of the quality of any drinking water must satisfy customer ratings by assessment in terms of physical parameter such as colour, taste, odour and presence of particles in the water (Mendie, 2005) and quality assessment which certify that the water is safe for drinking by meeting physical, chemical and microbiological parameter (Wikipedia, 2007d).
Thus, potable water for drinking must meet acceptable standard set by world Health.
Procedures for Packaged Water Production
Packaged water production procedure encompasses water sources and purification technologies. Sources of water are generally classified into surface and ground water. National agency for food, Drugs, Administration and control (NAFDAC) approved tap water (surface water), borehole (ground water) and spring water as sources of raw water for packaged water production (Abati, 2005). Surface water is exposed to contamination from animal wastes, pesticides insecticides industrial wastes and many other organic materials and as such should be treated before they are fit for drinking. On the other hand, underground water from boreholes and springs are subject to many sources of recharge such that they may contain contaminants found in surface water and dissolved minerals that was picked due to its long stay underground. This is why it was discovered that water contain high calcium content in areas where rocks like limestone, magnetite, gypsum, fluorspar etc. are commonly located. To this end, all sources of water should be tested to identify the type of treatment it required before becoming safe for human consumption.
Purification technologies are process of freeing water from any kind of impurity it contained such as contaminants or micro organism (Viessman and Mark, 2005). The purification steps to be followed depend on the type of impurities found in the source of water to be used. A wide variety of technologies could be adopted in providing safe water for drinking but the adoption of a particular technology depend on source of water, contaminant found to be present in the water source, the standard set which must be met by packaged water factories and available finances (Bionesoline, 2007). It must be noted that there is no single water treatment technique or devise that treat all problems because they are subject to limitations. However, an effective treatment process must try to eliminate all contaminants identified during chemical and microbiological analyses. At this juncture, a well-designed purification system must use a combination of purification technologies to achieve the best quality for drinking water and must be used in appropriate sequence that will optimize particles removal capabilities.
The NAFDAC mandate
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), was established by Decree No 15 of 1993 (as amended), to control and regulate the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sales and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals/detergents, medical devices and all drinks, including our popular pure water.
The scope of this mandate puts the responsibility of safeguarding public health on the Agency, and this touches on the life of every Nigerian.
Another Decree, which empowers the Agency to regulate and control packaged water/drinks, is the Drugs and Related Products (Registration, etc.) Decree No. 19 of 1993 as amended by Decree No 20 of 1999. This decree prohibits the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement and sale of all NAFDAC regulated products, unless they are registered.
Empowered by these Decrees, the Agency has developed the following regulations and guidelines to carry out its mandate. (see Appendix A for detailed guidelines for registration of packaged water)
- Bottled Water Advertisement Regulations S. 1.17 of 1995, which prohibits the advertisement of any bottled water imported into Nigeria or locally manufactured unless the bottled water has been registered by NAFDAC.
- Bottled Water (Labelling) Regulations S.1.8 of 1996, which stipulates that “No person shall set bottled water unless a label has been affixed on it.”
- Bottled Water (Registration) Regulations S.1.18 of 1996, which states that “Every bottled water manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, advertised and sold in Nigeria shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.”
It is necessary to note that the Agency’s mandate on regulation of water and water-based drinks extends to only processed and packaged ones.
Steps taken by NAFDAC in ensuring Effective regulation and control of pure water production in Nigeria.
The first group that was sensitized through a nationwide workshop was the Producers of ‘pure water’, Fruit Juices and other Water Based Drinks.
The National workshop on packaged water was flagged off in Lagos on June 22nd, 2001 and subsequently similar workshops held in all the states of the Federation including federal Capital Territory Abuja. The workshops was attended by ten thousand, six hundred and thirty four (10,634) participants nationwide.
Objectives of the workshop include enlightenment and education of participants on the:
- Health implications of drinking unwholesome water.
- The standard procedure for water treatment.
- Product registration procedures/guidelines.
- Use of standard water treatment equipment.
- NAFDAC’s commitment to be a listening and supportive agency (A change from its past image as a punitive agency)
As a follow up on the workshop, consultative meetings were held with the States’ Associations of packaged water procedures. Active audience participation was encouraged and this finally yielded positive results. The Agency by December 2001, had gained the confidence of packaged water producers.
In April 2002, NAFDAC furthermore conducted another interactive session with water manufacturers in the six geopolitical zones. This was aimed at assisting all those experiencing problems in registering their products. On 6th September, 2001 letters were also written to major hotels in Nigeria urging them to collapse all used bottles and cartons of packaged (bottled) water to prevent the recycling of same by fakers.
- The new management of NAFDAC acted on feedback from stake holders and reviewed the Agency’s registration procedures and guidelines in order to make registration less cumbersome.
The Agency has also intensified and sustained public enlightenment campaigns through print and electronic media (Television and Radio) so as to educate customers on the health hazards associated with unwholesome packaged water and other regulated products.
As a result of the Agency’s new focus on enlightenment campaigns, education, dialogue and persuasion in addition to corrective measures effected in the Agency’s procedures,
NAFDAC has recorded a huge success in regulating packaged water in Nigeria. This is evident in the remarkable increase in the number of packaged water registered by the end of the year 2002. The number of packaged water registered was 134 in the year 2000, 436 in the year 2001 and 998 in the year 2002.
Public awareness is also high and information flow from stakeholders has helped a great deal in conducting surveillance, and enforcement of regulations.
NAFDAC carried out post marketing surveillance for already registered packaged water products, because the Agency is not just interested in product registration but in their continuous compliance to Good Manufacturing Practice and all other quality standards. Out of 647 packaged water samples analyzed so far, about
- 57% failed analysis due to Microbial contamination.
- 22% failed due to chemical contamination.
- 96% were poorly labelled; this is of grave concern to NAFDAC.
To correct this situation, the Agency is presently organizing training for staff and stakeholders (manufacturers) on Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HACCP). We are hopeful that introduction of HACCP to our Quality Assurance system will improve the quality of products in the food, water and other relevant industries. The turnout of packaged water manufacturers in the zones so far trained is most encouraging.
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