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Water factories given 90 days to meet standards or be closed

South Sudan National Bureau of Standards Chief Executive Officer, Mary Gordon Muortat

By James Atem Kuir

The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) last week gave water companies three months to comply with quality standards for the production of safe drinking water or be closed. However, on meeting the requirements the successful companies would be given quality marks.

SSNBS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Gordon Mourtat announced the three-month ultimatum after meeting with the managers of water companies in Juba last Friday.

Ms. Mourtat said after three months, companies would not be allowed to produce water if they do not meet the required standards for safe drinking water. 

“Our agenda today (Friday, March 25, 2022) was purely to advise them (water factories) to implement all the standards that have been given to them and ensure that they compiled in every area and the reward is what is called a quality mark,” she said, explaining that the mark would be accredited to complying companies only.

According to the CEO, the required standards for safe drinking water include; the standardized water purification system, use of standardized chemicals, and standardized bottling.

“The water factory has to comply with standards. Complying with standards is not just one thing; you have to make sure that your premises is cleaned, your source of water is known – we want to know exactly where the water comes from, your water purification system is meeting the standard, and then the chemical you add to water has to be standardized,” she said.

On bottling of water she said, they had to make sure that they were meeting the standards and that was why “I stressed the issue of the sealing as well as labeling”. So, if a water factory has complied with all these requirements, it will be given the standard mark (also known as the quality mark),” she added.

The SSBNS chief also noted that the number of water companies had declined from 35 companies to less than 20 due to the ongoing economic crisis.

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