Twenty laboratory staff working in water management institutions from eight African countries are in Accra undergoing training to ensure quality water delivery in their respective countries.
The participants are from Cameroun, Niger, Togo, Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire.
It was organised by African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA) and aimed at providing participants with a step-by-step process of how to develop a laboratory quality assurance manual.
It was also to build their capacity to properly monitor, capture accurate data and manage their laboratories well.
It forms part of an African water capacity-building (AfriCap) programme to strengthen the ability of Africa water operators in non-revenue water management, water quality management and inclusive sanitation.
The second phase of the three-day training workshop which commenced yesterday is being supported by USAID.
The first phase was organised in 2016, where laboratory staff from 10 African countries, including Ghana, were trained.
The Chief Manager in charge of water quality assurance at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr Margaret Macaulay, said during the first phase, Ghana was identified to have the best laboratory and had since 2017, trained and shared experiences with other African countries on how to draft their laboratory quality assurance manuals.
She said the capacity of the GWCL was further strengthened to train other African countries to develop their manuals after being taken through laboratory audit and other technical programmes.
“Now that our capacity has been strengthened and we have been made to share experiences and train people, we will teach participants a step-by-step process of how the GWCL was able to put together the quality manual, a manual which provides a standardised way of delivering quality laboratory management,” Dr Macaulay added.
She said the manual would, among others, also help laboratory staff to minimise human errors and improve the quality of data to be produced.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director of GWCL, Dr Clifford Braimah, said access to safe and clean water was a complex and evolving challenge.
He, however, said the quality of water must not be compromised at any point in the supply value chain since that could have a devastating effect on public health.
“The preparation of a water quality laboratory manual is a vital step towards ensuring the provision of clean and safe water for all.
“The manual serves as a comprehensive guide that outlines standards, procedures and protocol for monitoring, managing and improving water quality,” the MD added.
He also said that the manual would act as a blueprint for action, enabling laboratory staff to implement effective strategies and methodologies to manage drinking water quality.
Dr Braimah expressed appreciation to USAID and AfWASA for their support in organising the training workshop.