Illegal water bottling plants on the rise


Federal Police in collaboration with Oromia and Addis Ababa police is investigating illegal water bottling places in most parts of the country, Capital has learnt.
Sources in the industry told Capital that the illegal bottlers of different brands of plastic water products have expanded. Sources said that in the past couple of weeks the Federal Police and other relevant bodies undertook intensive investigation on the activity.
Sources said that the unsafe waters are mainly bottled in the capital and the surroundings of Addis Ababa.
Most of the illegally bottled water that do not pass proper safety procedures are produced in veil network and mainly distributed for regional markets via the process of the market chain that illegal actors formed, according to sources.Capital tried to get information from Ethiopian Bottled Water and Soft Drinks Manufacturing Industries Association (EBWSDMIA), while it was unfruitful.
Sources added that the case is currently well understood by the association itself and relevant government bodies who follow the healthy market system.
“The illegal bottlers bottled the fake product on their facility. Even though we said facility it is just packing the bottle with tap water,” one of the sources who is close to the sector said. They bottled it in different corners of the town in residential compounds, according to sources. These forged bottlers have sources for their input like plastic bottle and labeling of different brands.
“Regarding the brand, they produce as per the order they got from customers, but as far as my information most of them almost produce all kind of brands as per the order,” the source added.
Even though Capital secured the information that police is investigating the case for the past few weeks it could not get the latest development in relation with the investigation. However sources said that the investigation also included Ministry of Trade and Industry, Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Authority, and Addis Ababa Trade and Industry Bureau and formed a committee to control the illegality but sources at the city Trade Bureau said the investigation has expanded in other similar illegal acts.
Most of the legal bottlers that Capital approached refused to give further information about the issue.
Currently 80 water bottlers are registered in the association and another 15 new comers are under preparation to commence their production.
Capital attempt to talk the City Police Commissioner and head of Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Authority failed.