Water Laboratories in Afghanistan, important meeting and workshop At ANSA, 3rd- 4th June 2014



Venue and attendance



ANSA Conference Hall:

Chairman: Dir. Dr. Khateer
Date: 3rd June 2014 at 9:00
Workshop : 3rd June at 12 till 4th June at 2:30

Welcome by Dr. Khateer, ANSA





ANSA opened and welcomed to the meeting

and explaining the purpose of the meeting which was to agree on a Road map for starting the establishing a framework for a quality control at water testing laboratories in Afghanistan.
Dr. Khateer regretted that the previously announced meeting in March had to be postponed due to security issues , but now he was happy that work could proceed. He wished the participants to be active in the meeting and workshop so that the work could develop.  ANSA also welcomed the participants to visit the new laboratories which just had been opened and some of the many laboratories were already in use.

List of Participants

Background " Why we are here" by Dr. Stoveland, Norplan

A presentation was given by Stoveland,  updating the participants on the meeting as to  why were present. In short, the problems  that many of the results from water testing laboratories in Afghanistan could not be trusted. Norplan was faced with the problem of having to sent  water samples abroad for analysis.

We had a problem, in short:

We could not trust the results from local labs .. ( Norplan did some testing of local labs with poor results.)
After noting that many of the poor results came from quite basic analytical tests os it was concluded that the problem was lack of  quality control system

So why are we here?

We want to aim at analysing all water samples in Afghanistan at local labs
We want to trust the results from the labs.

The third meeting in ANSA for discussion of Quality Control systems for Water laboratories.   Previously we have discussed and agreed on:

A  QC for Labs is Needed for Afghanistan

  • ANSA Is the Focal point.
  • A consultative Committee to be adviser for ANSA As government focal point
  • Technical workgroups to develop documentation, program and plans and report to Consultative Committee  Of adaptation
  • Accreditation of labs mot possible before earliest in 2017
  • National Classified and Certified standards needed for water testing laboratories
  • QC system to be developed based on concensus where possible
  • Neccessary of plan for short, medium and long term solutions
  • A workshop needs to be held to organise TOR and work plans for national framework for QC for labs.

Agreed Members of Consultative Committee

  • Focal point: ANSA
  • Laboratory owners: MRRD, MoPH, MEW, AGS, DACAAR, VICC (Private sector labs), AUWSSC, Academia (Kabul University) MUDA, NEPA
  • Supporting agencies: UNICEF, WHO, GIZ, Norplan, Others



Stoveland just reminded the participants on the general agreed framework for operation as shown belos:

Organization framework previously adapted

Tentative workplan

(first draft)


  General work plan framework agreed in meeting in May 2013 ( in general agreed in meeting 13th May 14

General framework for following discussions and workshop
/ Stoveland

Having reminded all about the objective on the meeting, Stoveland outlined  the work program for the two days workshop.

Day 1

Morning session:
Consultative committee meeting to endorse general work program and to inform about plans for workshop and anticipated outputs.
Afternoon session:
To discuss policy framework  for the QC of labs  by defining TOR for a  technical group handling that issues and to prepare work plans and identify names of people to handle the work.

Day 2

Morning session:
To discuss work for 2nd work group handling technical issues, standards etc. as for group 1 previous day
Afternoon session:
To discuss work for 3rd work group handling capacity building. as for group 1 previous day
At the end of the workshop agreed TOR, and action plan should be summarized and endorsed.

Presentation of policy issues open for discussion and adaptation , by Dr, Betman, DACAAR

The presentation content:

  1. Why do we need WQT Lab. Quality Control Policy?
  2. What are the differences between accreditation, certification and policy?
  3. What do you mean by QA and QC?
  4. What are the issues should be addressed in the WQT Lab Policy Framework?
  5. How shall we formulate the WQT Lab QC policy?
  6. Monitoring and reinforcing the national drinking water quality standards 2012.
  7. Providing reliable and quality services to clients.
  8. Promoting quality and innovative research in country.

What are the differences between policy, accreditation and certification?

  • Lab accreditation
    Lab Certification

WQT lab QC Policy umbrella

What are the issues should be addressed in the policy framework?

  • Laws and Executive Orders
  • International and national operating standards
  • Laboratory management system

What are the Lab. Management System?
Logistic Management

  • Organization, Facility and Safety, Personnel
  • Equipment, Purchasing & Inventory

2. Operating Process

  • Standards of Operation Process,
  • Documentation and Records,
  • Information & Dissemination

3. Periodic Monitoring System

  • SOP, Satisfaction of Customer Service

What type of elements address in the policy framework?

  • Laboratory’s vision, mission and values
  • Laboratory’s objectives
  • Laboratory’s administrative policy
  • Laboratory standards of operation (SOP)
  • Laboratory’s inventory
  • Laboratory logistic, work ethic and monitoring
  • Laboratory information system (forms)

Dr. Betman discussed the issues presented and more at a background for subsequent sessions to be coved by the later workshop. For the complete presentation, see www.norplan.af

Click on icon to open whole presentation ( pdf file format)

Project news flash

Brief presentation of survey of existing labs indicating possible gaps to be discussed in the later work group ,

by Dr. Zeenal Nissa, GIZ, AUWSSC

Dr. Zeenat Nissa, GIZ,  provides support to AUWSSC.  In connection with the assessment of the need for a reference water testing laboratory for AUWSSC,  she surveyed the main water testing laboratories in Kabul. 

Her findings ware presented to the workshop and this provided a better understanding of the challenges different laboratories may have with respect to analysis


Some equipment in some of the labs above



  • 80% laboratories doesn’t have regular sampling.
  • 80% laboratory staff trained but still lack of standard laboratory knowledge.
  • 50% have developed/following SOP (Standard Operation Procedure).
  • 50% laboratories are not following Afghanistan National Standards for drinking water quality.
  • 50% laboratories analyze samples by only test kits.
  • Staff from irrelevant fields (qualifications) has been appointed as chemists in some laboratories.
  • All laboratories have adopted all most all essential parameters for water analyses.
  • No sample storage and preservation techniques adopted in any laboratory.
  • No reagent preparation in 70% of laboratories surveyed.
  • Only drinking water is being analyzed, no wastewater analyses have been carried out so far yet.
  • No statistical interpretation of analytical data for accurate reporting by any laboratory.
  • No standard quality control in laboratories surveyed (justified by pictorial representation of each laboratory).
  • No laboratory waste management in any laboratory.


For the complete powerpoint presentation click on icon right:



Training in QC by Norplan:
Dr. Stoveland briefly mentioned that for the following discussions in the workshop, it was important to map the training resources available in Afghanistan and how these could possibly be mobilised to develop and train water laboratory personnel in establishing an effective quality control and quality assurance systems for all laboratories in the future.
DACAAR is one of the major training organization in the water supply sector in Afghanistan and it is pleasing that Azeem Barat from their training section is here to provide the meeting with information of the capabilities and support DACAAR can provide.  Also WHO had just recently informed us that they were about to start a training program water quality testing and for that  reason Eng. Frederic Patigny agreed to give an update of  thise activities to the workshop.
Norplan who is currently  supporting MRRD in running about 50 short training courses mainly focussing on ground water surveys, mapping and development, but  also ran one quality control awareness course at RuWatSIP in June last year together with UNICEF.  Under the Norplan project, a number of water samples had to be analysed and as a preparation, Norplan had sent samples to different labs to test the accuracy of the results. The outcome of this comparative analysis was disappointing in a sense showing that it was difficult to trust the results.  However, although many laboratory staff had be trained in analytical techniques,  many were not aware of the overall quality control issues and quality assurance systems ( including accreditation). Thus by agreeing on a QC and QA system for Afghanistan followed by capacity building, training and supervision by ANSA, the quality of the analytical results from Afghan water testing laboratories should be much enhanced with relatively minor resource needed.  So this workshop should be most appropriate and timely according to Stoveland.

Project news flash ..date:

Azeem Barat presented the extensive training capacity available at DACAAR though the WetCentre

DWQT Workshop Content


  • Water quality issues and the connection to public health
  • Drinking water quality guidelines and standards
  • Types of contaminants and their indicators
  • Water quality testing for physical, chemical and microbiological parameters
  • Selection of appropriate testing methodology and equipment
  • Developing a water quality testing plan
  • Record keeping, interpreting results, and reporting  


  • Water sample collection
  • Physical contaminant testing 
  • Chemical contaminant testing
  • Microbiological contaminant testing
  • Preparing a report

WET Centre WQ Laboratory
Azeem Barat also presented the capabilities of their water testing laboratory and their future plan to obtain a national certificate for  Quality Control in 2016.

  • Established in 2003 and provide DWQT through well-equipped Laboratory.
  • Analyze chemical, microbiological and physical qualities of drinking water.
  • Using field kit:
  • Potatest & Delagua portable single & double incubator
  • Photometers
  • Spectro  Photometers
  • Digital Arsenators
  •  Digital pH/Conductivity Meters
  • Digital Turbidity Meters
  • Digital DO (dissolved oxygen) Meter
  • Other tools/equipment
  • Has 6 permanent qualified lab technicians
  • Future plan is to get national certificate for the WQ Lab by 2016
For full presentation click icon to the right:

Training WHO
, Eng. Fredric Patigny

Training on bacteriologica analysis of drinking waters

Eng. Fredric Patigny, Wash cluster coordinator form WHO, informed the meeting that WHOL has just started a training program for health officers in Mazaar in testing the bacteriological quality of drinking water using portable field test kits.
The training program would continue and cover the other regions in Afghanistan. Eng. Fredric Patigny has previously been looking for a contact forum concerned with testing of drinking water which is of cause one of the major concerns for WHO. As such, he was please to attend this meeting and workshop and would officer the support of WHO for further development of quality control framework for Afghanistan and possibly also as a resource person for training.

After the above presentations, the meeting in the Consultative committee were closed and the workshop continued after lunch.


Discussions and agreements:

The objective of the workshop was to agree on the following:

Objective for workshop.

  • Define work groups
  • Define terms of reference for each work group
  • Define work plan
  • Agree on who should participate in the different work groups.

The discussion was good all participated in the discussion in one group. Each of the tasks above were discussed in order by brainstorming and noting  suggestions. Below the results of the discussions and agreements of the way forward:  

Only two working groups to be established at this time

 (not three as earlier suggested) namely

  • Working group for policy development
  • Working group for technical issues and capacity building.

Working group coordinators:

  • Policy WG:  GIZ( Zeenat) and Norplan ( Abrar)
  • Technical and capacity ( DACAAR ( Betman) and WHO ( Patigny)

Members: (all interested persons are invited to participate but the named persons listed below agreed to provide support the te groups and should provide support)

Agreed assignments for two Technical Working Groups:

Technical Working Group:        TG1

General focus:            Policy 
Group coordinator:     GIZ/Norplan ( Zeenat/Abrar)


Key focus:

  • Policy goals
  • Objectives QC hopes
  • Terminology
  • Milestones
  • Roles & Responsibilities stakeholders
  • Reporting documentation
  • Accommodation of small and large laboratories
  • Research & Development
  • Cross cutting issues
  • Maintaining certification

Members: MRRD, MoPH, University, MEW, UNICEF/WHO/AUWSSC

Names of members TG1

(others welcome to participate)


Technical Group:        TG2

General focus:             Technical and capacity 
Group coordinator:      DACAAR/WHO (Betman/Fredric)


Status - existing situation
Equipment, method, qualification of staff, trained to do lab analysis, parameters, standard, physical facilities, calibration, SOPs, reagents, (use making, control) working procedures, temp control, Available QC or QA system, reporting and documentation, safety, Lab supervision, waste management,


Collect SOPs linked to QC of QA of labs ( prepare list of available SOPs)
Review of SOPs (incl; procedures, checklists,


QA systems
To be developed by first reviewing what exists of documentation. ( different for different class of labs. ?)


QC systems
Survey of QC documents, start drafting the documents first needed? Checklists? Available or to be made? Documentation, reporting? Decide priority  what to start working on


Inter-laboratory analysis??
How, which parameter to start with?, how to review?

  Existing training programs, survey, resources? Training gaps for QA and QC? DACAAR, WHO, UNICEF,
  Certification system for training of staff for specific analysis? To be developed for staff,

Members: MRRD, MoPH, University, MEW, UNICEF/WHO/AUWSSC

Names of members TG2

(others welcome to participate)

Adoped proposed work plan for QC for water labs:
Closing Workshop, by Dr. Khateer, ANSA


Closing of the Workshop by Dir. Dr. Khateer, ANSA.

The director was very pleased with the workshop and that the workshop has delivered what it set out to achieve.

The director emphasised the importance of this work and underlined the commitment of ANSA to follow up.

The meeting was closed at 2:30 Wednesday 4th June.