KEBS cancels 157 water bottling licenses


A plastic water bottle. Photo/COURTESY
A plastic water bottle. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • KEBS managing director Charles Ongwae said a section of players were promoting unfair trade by operating without valid product certification marks and have failed to meet required standards.
  • Mr Ongwae singled out water bottling firms that are not adhering to the standards hence posing health risks to the consumer.
  • The KEBS boss said there had been an upsurge of unscrupulous water bottling firms which are not adhering to the laid down standards and procedures.

Following an upsurge of unscrupulous players who are producing substandard goods, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has warned against 157 water bottling firms operating illegally.

Speaking during a stakeholder forum, KEBS managing director Charles Ongwae said a section of players were promoting unfair trade by operating without valid product certification marks and have failed to meet required standards.

Mr Ongwae singled out water bottling firms that are not adhering to the standards hence posing health risks to the consumer.

“We have 157 companies that are illegally operating in the country. We are going after those companies because it’s important that people buy water that has been certified. We are making an appeal so them to come to KEBS, work with them and get certified,” Mr Ongwae said.

The KEBS boss said there had been an upsurge of unscrupulous water bottling firms which are not adhering to the laid down standards and procedures.

Some of these violations include companies operating from unknown locations, noncompliance to the requirements of the relevant water standards such as the code of hygiene, using suspect sources of water, poor and misleading labeling.

“There are people in the country who love short cuts and do not adhere to the law,” he stressed.

This has seen licensed water bottlers take a hit with what they term as predatory competition.

Aquadrop director Yvonne Nkantha said there are so many players in the market that lack licenses leading to unhealthy rivalry between the players.

“One of the problems we have been facing is that there are so many people in the market which could be a good thing because competition is very positive. On the downside the companies are not licensed so you are not playing on a level playing field,” Ms Nkatha said.

There are currently 426 firms with valid permits to bottle water.

Among the new requirements announced by KEBS include, automation of bottle filling and sealing to safeguard on hygiene practices.

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