Protecting Precious Human Life!

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Existing war of words between government, through the Ministries of Industry, Mines and Technological Development and that of Trade and a water-bottling outfit, SANO, owing to the suspension of the activities of the latter by the former is generating mixed reactions. Obviously so as one sits on the attack and the other on the defence bench with arguments that might lure observers to tend to believe some of the justifications put forward by the firm.    

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But there is every reason to worry when the crime of the defaulting company, as government puts it, resides in the non-respect of existing standards in the entire water production chain. It is common knowledge that water is life but at the same time this source of life can be catastrophic if stakeholders fail to play by the rules of the game. If water is termed potable, it should as a matter of fact, fulfil all the conditions. Where and how it is produced, the manner of bottling and conservation should not raise any doubt. These basics can’t be bargained for. 

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Barely managing or employing unconventional methods to produce a precious product as drinkable water for public consumption is, to say the least, deceptive. It is dangerous even! The market forces are certainly on the side of the producer in terms of growing demand which logically necessitates increased supply, but this should not be any pretext to throw existing standards to the dogs. Disturbingly so on a product as widely consumed as water. 

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If videos trending on social media on how the outfit is bottling its water are anything to go by, then the State could not be indifferent to precious human life being sacrificed on the altar of personal gain. Halting the activities of the company for six months and tasking the Control Brigade of the Ministry of Trade to ensure that the product is removed from the market as has been decided, pending the company’s living up to expectation, is certainly salutary. 

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The control has to be indiscriminate and those charged with readmitting the company into the water production and bottling market must show proof of resistance to temptations of all sorts. 

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At a time when the State and families are battling with strange ailments coupled with the resurgence of risky and obscure pandemics like Covid-19, room should not be given to shylock manufacturers to endanger human life the more in their seemingly unbridled quest for wealth. 

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The SANO saga should obviously serve as an eye-opener to the government for stricter control in all industrial products in the country for precious human life to be well protected. 

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