On Wednesday, March 10, a delegation from the African Water Association (AfWA) led by Dr. Simeon KENFACK, Director of Programs, was welcomed at the headquarters of ENVAL Laboratories.
The CEO of ENVAL, Mr. Bakary COULIBALY, led the visit of the different laboratories, the first step in the agenda. He successively presented the installations and equipment of the microbiology, organic chemistry and physical chemistry laboratories, and finally, those of the textile laboratory.
Both Dr. Kenfack and Mr. Gilles DJAGOUN, Senior Water Coordinator of the AAE, congratulated ENVAL for the quality of its laboratory equipment.
After this tour, the two delegations met for a working session in the conference room of the ENVAL Laboratories Group.
This working session consisted of a fruitful exchange on the opportunities for a partnership between the two organizations; Dr. KENFACK informed that the AfWA is currently working to identify companies that deal with water and sanitation issues, in order to support them through a capacity building program. This is in line with the objectives of the Association. Indeed, the AfWA has set itself among other objectives to “constantly promote the exchange of information in all areas related to drinking water, sanitation and the environment, in particular research and techniques” but also to “promote contacts, exchanges and relationships between professionals in the drinking water sector in Africa and in the world”.
ENVAL Laboratories, through the voice of its President and CEO, welcomed the initiative before going back over the history of the Enval Group, whose adventure began in 1999 with the Enval Cabinet, a consulting firm specializing in the environment and agribusiness. Enval quickly felt the need for a testing laboratory to support the company. In 2002, Enval Laboratories became a full-fledged company and began to expand into other areas. Today, Enval Laboratories is one of the most important physico-chemical and microbiological analysis laboratories in Africa.
Discussions also raised the possibility that ENVAL Laboratories could join the AfWA thematic group on water quality. ENVAL Laboratories could also use its experience to support other laboratories in the ISO 17025 accreditation process through a mentoring program. To further the process, the AAE suggested that ENVAL Laboratories could take the opportunity to publish in the AAE’s periodicals (Newsletter, Technical Journal). “ENVAL has great potential to meet the needs of the water sector, in particular. This deserves to be exploited,” insisted Mr. KENFRACK. Referring to his experience with Rand Water in the Republic of South Africa, a water sanitation center that ensures that citizens receive water free of harmful microorganisms and contaminants, the AfWA Program Director suggested that similar activities be conducted. For example, environmental sensitivity studies with a mapping of the influence of mining activity on water resources. These studies could be submitted to the relevant authorities.
Mr. COULIBALY, the CEO of ENVAL, noted all the ideas and was pleased with the prospects. “Like you, we are aware of the importance of our role in improving health, hygiene and environmental protection. Our common will to promote, in the best possible conditions, the sector of Drinking Water, Sanitation and Environment in the interest of the African populations augurs good prospects. Together, we will more easily achieve our common goals for the greater good of African communities,” he concluded, in the presence of some of the ENVAL Laboratories staff: Mr. Arsène KOUAME (Technical Director), Mr. Arthur SEY (Administrative and Financial Director), Mr. Denis YAO (Microbiologist Manager), and Mr. Jean-Louis BORGER (Director of the National Research Institute). Denis YAO (Microbiology Manager), Mr. Wetebou BINI (Sales and Marketing Manager), Bintou DIABATE (Technical and Sales Engineer), Saint-Pierre KOUADIO (R&D Assistant, in charge of Water and Sanitation studies) and finally Mrs. France GNALY (Public Relations Manager), the main person in charge of the meeting.