190 Water producers in Kumasi uncertified -GSA
By: Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
About 190 sachet water producers in the Kumasi Metropolis have been arrested by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for engaging in the illegal production of the product.
The offenders, whose identities have been concealed for security reasons, were either found to be operating under unhygienic conditions, putting the lives of consumers at risk, or were using the certification of the GSA without approval.
The Director of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) in charge of the Northern sector, Mr. Kwasi Owusu Boadu, disclosed this at a media briefing in Kumasi. Though Mr. Boadu refused to mention names of the said producers, he said some of these illegal manufacturers had been slapped with penalties amounting to over GH¢200, in line with the authority's rules and regulations.
Mr. Owusu Boadu indicated that the unlawful activities of the producers were discovered from a survey conducted by the regulatory outfit during the latter part of last year, as part of measures to flash out unscrupulous elements in the sachet water production industry.
He said through the authority's survey, it came to the fore that most sachet water producers had illegally forged the certification of the GSA on their products to deceive the public.
Mr. Owusu Boadu, however, stressed that through outreach programmes and proper monitoring mechanisms embarked upon by the GSA, most of these manufacturers had since changed their system of operation, and were conforming to the rules and regulations of the authority.
He, however, pointed out that there are illegal producers on the market, whose activities continue to pose serious threats to the health of consumers.
The GSA Director has, therefore, warned the public to be on the lookout and alert the authority on the activities of these unregistered products.
He said the authority had also stepped up its monitoring efforts to check the sale and importation of second hand clothes, especially, panties, handkerchiefs and braziers, which he said, posed serious health hazards to users.
Aside this, Mr. Owusu Boadu further noted that the GSA was also collaborating with the health agencies to ensure the proper regulations of medical equipment used in the treatment of patients.
Touching on the programmes being embarked upon by the GSA to address the importation and sale of substandard products in the country, Mr. Owusu Boadu said the authority had begun outreach education programmes to educate the public and manufacturers on the need to adopt high quality practices in the production and importation of goods.
He noted that the major aim of the authority was not to prosecute offenders, but to conscientize the producers and the public in general to be vigilant about what they purchase on the market, in order to ensure that they do not fall prey to the dodgy business of these people.
Mr. Owusu Boadu also disclosed that the Ashanti Regional office of the GSA would soon establish its own laboratory to facilitate the operations of the authority, with respect to product certification.
He, therefore, appealed to the media to assist the authority in its activities, so that the safety of Ghanaians could be enhanced.