Kebs suspends licences of 369 water bottling firms

Wednesday May 11 2016

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has suspended the licences of 369 water-bottling companies for non-compliance with quality standards.

Kebs CEO Charles Ongwae warned other water bottlers that they risk losing their licences if they fail to meet the set standards.

The move follows the rise of counterfeit substandard bottled water products that pose a risk to human health.

According to Kebs, there are 600 registered water-bottling firms in the country.

The Kebs boss made the announcement Wednesday during a crisis meeting with representatives of water-bottling companies.

The meeting was held to address the rise of counterfeit products that are posing health risks to consumers.


A recent World Bank/IFC study detailing the bottled-water market in Kenya estimated sales at Sh12 billion per year.

According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), over 60 per cent of water and juice products in the market are counterfeit.

KRA Commissioner-General John Njiraini said last month that the illegal trade was denying the country billions of shillings in revenue.

“The water and juices sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, but statistics indicate that over 60 per cent of the water and juices are illicit,” he said.


Editor's note: Click here to download the list of suspended companies.