The Sunday Mail
Charlotte Musarurwa and Heather Charema
Bulk water suppliers and bottling companies are recording brisk business as more consumers exercise caution in light of concerns about the country’s tap water quality.
In particular, bulk suppliers are getting huge business volumes from residents in areas of limited water supply. Consumers are, however, also increasingly becoming wary of daring vendors who refill bottles with tap water.
Firms such as ZLG produce over 50 000 litres per day while one of the company’s major distribution points in Harare receives 5 080 litres daily.
Other companies like Cairns Foods Limited produce over 300 000 litres each month.
Tanganda Tea Company Limited also produces up to 12 500 litres of its Tinga Mira brand.
Another company which produces the Vivon brand confirmed enjoying brisk business.
Cairns Foods national sales manager Mr Jameson Jeche said: “Our water is distributed all over Zimbabwe, across all market segments. We have seen a rapid increase in sales in recent months.
“Nowadays, tap water is not guaranteed of purity. That’s why everyone is turning to bottled water.”
According to a latest report from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, 54 water bottling companies have been certified. The companies, in turn, supply their products to retailers.
“The bottled water brands were certified and based on satisfactory chemical and microbiological sample test results and the bottling factory meeting basic minimum hygiene requirements,” reads part of the report.
“While we make continuous random checks on the quality and safety of the water, the Ministry of Health and Child Care cannot be held responsible for cases of non-compliance or ill-health that may be caused by some of these certified water brands.
“This list is updated periodically. New ones may be added or old ones may be removed. The bulk of the companies offer purified municipal water, clearly supporting the allegations that the municipal water is not safe.”
Bulk water suppliers in Harare who spoke to The Sunday Mail said business was satisfactory as council still fails to supply water to certain areas.
Mr Josh Laubscher, who runs LS Waters, said he supplies bulk water to residents in suburbs such as Greendale, Mandara, Chisipite and Highlands as well as industrial sites almost daily.
Mr Gordon Watson of Orca Water said the booming sales are riding on the present Harare City Council water treatment problems.