Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has issued a warning to hotels and event organisers who procure packaged drinking water that has not been certified.
The bureau has urged stakeholders in the business to confirm the validity of the standardisation mark, noting that packaged water that has not been certified will be seized, destroyed and legal action taken against the owners.
Managing director, Charles Ongwae said distribution of uncertified water to clients exposes them to health hazards, hence an urgent need for strict regulation and weeding out of fraudulent players selling them to unsuspecting consumers.
“Water is a high-risk product and is listed as a high-risk commodity therefore a slight contamination can lead to loss of lives or even sickness,” he said in a statement.
“It is a contravention of the Standards Act to manufacture or offer for sale any product unless the product demonstrates conformity to the respective Kenya Standard by having a valid permit to use the standardisation mark as stipulated in the law.”
Water bottling business is guided by the Kenya Standards and the East Africa Standards for bottled water whereby the water classification is determined by the source of the water and the method of purification.
Kenya Bureau of Standards listed bottled water as high-risk due to high number of unlicensed bottling companies two years ago. According to Kebs, there are 600 legalised water-bottling plants in the country but the number of illegal ones could be higher than that. –WANGUI GITHUGO