Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) recently validated a product certification
scheme for bottled and packaged water in a bid to improve the standards among
manufacturers by working in accordance of the scheme guidelines.
TGSB is tasked with the mandate to standardize methods, processes and products both imported and locally produced. It also promotes standardization, conformity assessment and metrology in the fields of industry and commerce to support industrial efficiency and development.
Addressing the gathering, Joseph Ndenn, head of Certificate body at The Gambia Standards Bureau explained that the bureau was setup in 2010 and started operations a year later.
The bureau, he stated, is mandated to do standardization and also prove conformity assessment services.
“Any producer of the products whose products fulfilled the scope of 2.5 and the technical requirements of part two of the scheme may apply for certification of businesses.
Awa Jeng-Jagne, the sectorial file manager for Bottled water at The Gambia Standards Bureau also emphasized that product certification is a third party activity that provides confident to businesses.
The steps of product certification, she added, include application, review of application, evaluation and surveillance.
Ezzine Cherif, the director of Direction of Certification based in Morocco, called on participants to make justice to the document, by reviewing the scheme thoroughly.
Cherif underscored the importance of surveillance before issuing certificate, saying the license holders must throughout the validity of the certification commits to comply with the define requirements and marketing procedures.
He added that they should also update its certification file as provided and systematically inform TGSB of any changes in any of the characteristics of the certified products in the organization.
Mr. Ousman Bajinka, a Microbiology lecturer at the University of The Gambia School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, expressed with delight to be part of the validation program. The essence of the validation, he went on, is of immense benefit as putting standards is important to people’s lives.
Banjinka noted that the validation of water standards in The Gambia would go a long way in equipping companies with standards guidelines. “This will also boost their production to the consumers because customer satisfaction will begin.”
Among, the regulations they put in place with regards to water, is the laws of The Gambia as applicable to drinking water that fall within the scope of the certification scheme. Other requirements include those stipulated in The Gambia Consumer Protection Act 2016 and the Food Safety and Quality Authority Act 2011.
On hygiene requirements, the bureau also requires that the applicant/holder shall implement a prerequisite programme (PRP) in accordance with CAC/RCP 1 and in accordance with the Code of Hygienic Practice for Bottled/Packaged drinking water other than natural mineral waters.
All the businesses most implement Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach in accordance with ISO 22000.