Certainly, there is still too much fog surrounding this affair for us to be able to precisely locate the possible culpable behavior which allowed contamination of this magnitude to develop. It is up to the political world, undoubtedly through the work of a parliamentary commission, to say where things have failed.
But it is already obvious: the current fragmentation of responsibilities between ministerial offices, the administration, the municipalities, the intermunicipal associations and other ILOs responsible for the production and distribution of running water in Wallonia, is in no way compatible with the requirements of crisis management, which requires speed, clarity and transparency.
Before the dioxin crisis, one of the most significant food accidents in the country’s history, food tracing did not exist, controls were carried out by a string of different administrations which did not speak to each other and the The flow of agri-food products was entirely ignored by the authorities. And the consumer had no way of knowing where what they were eating came from. The legislator decided to bring order to this jumble. All controls have been centralized in a single new organization: the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Afsca). An agency that can certainly be improved, but which the country would find difficult to do without today. Strangely, Afsca does not deal with distribution water. But why would what is possible for chocolate, cheese or eggs not be possible for a common good as essential as tap water? The Pfas crisis sounds like a repetition of what the country experienced 20 years ago. The political world would be wise to remember this. And to be inspired by it.