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158 water bottling companies operating illegally: KEBS

There are 426 firms with valid permits in the water sector with another 49 other firms have applied for permits but have not completed the certification process.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) says 158 water bottling firms are still operating without valid product certification marks and have failed to meet required standards for bottled water.

KEBS Managing Director, Charles Ongwae says the firms are operating from unknown locations and do not comply with the requirements of the relevant water standards such as the code of hygiene

The firms are also using suspect sources of water with poor and misleading labeling.

“KEBS is ready to support these firms get their water certified because we are not in the business of closing industries, but facilitating the growth of fair professional business operations and trade practices,” said Ongwae.

In 2016, KEBS suspended the operations of 369 water bottling companies which it says pose health risks to consumers.

Ongwae was speaking with over 350 players in the bottled water sector where he took them through the new requirements in bottling water.

All old applicants will be required to have in place an automated bottle filling and sealing mechanism within six months, however, new applicants will be required to have automation before they start a business.

In addition, KEBS has agreed to increase the validity period of Standardization Mark from one year to three years.

KEBS has issued 11,234 permits out of which 671 are for bottled water.

So far there are 426 firms with valid permits in the water sector with another 49 other firms have applied for permits but have not completed the certification process.

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