…as major lab receives certificationThe Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is currently in talks with the Finance Ministry to discuss the possibilities of more laboratories being established across the country, as the 2019 budgetary plans are being finalised.GWI Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles receives the certificate from head of the Conformity Assessment Department at the GNBS, Rodlyn SempleThis was announced on Monday by Managing Director of GWI, Richard Van West-Charles at the company’s head office on Vlissengen Road, Georgetown as the laboratory received certification from the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) after one year.Due to the certification received, Van West-Charles said, “We have started to create a set of mini laboratories, placing kits in different parts… so we have a few already, mini laboratories. As I said earlier, I just came from the Ministry of Finance. We are discussing the budget for 2019. In that budget is a proposal for some more mini laboratories”.According to Dr West-Charles, the establishing of the mini laboratories is a critical issue. The Managing Director explained that it is a complete waste of resources for water samples to be taken from outlying areas and results take months to return.Meanwhile, head of water quality at GWI, Deon Anderson, explained that over the one-year period, the company was required to meet basic requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO), before achieving the necessary certification. A few of those requirements ensuring the test methods were well-developed and implemented along with consistent accuracy testing of the equipment used to ensure proper water quality.Anderson added that the certification is a validation of the laboratory’s ability to deliver reliable, accurate and precise information to its customers.“The certification validates the competence of our staff in the water quality department, it validates also the appropriateness of our test methods and protocols that are used to test the different water quality parameters. It ensures traceability of our measurements that are done in terms of our standard operational procedures,” the water quality expert pointed out.Laboratory Consultant, Karamchand Ramoutar, said he expects to continue working with the company, even as it seeks international certification.Head of the Conformity Assessment Department at GNBS, Rodlyn Semple lauded the water company for being the 14th laboratory to achieve GYS-170 standard.The GYS-170 standard is the national standard which specifies the operation of a laboratory, she said, which also assures that reliable testing meets the needs of consumers.She noted, “Indeed today (Monday) is not only a momentous occasion but it signifies that laboratories in Guyana recognise the need to implement standards for overall improvement.”For GWI to maintain its certification, it will be reevaluated over a two-year period by trained assessors.