Bottled water which was recently condemned as unfit for human consumption, has found its way into Botswana’s market where reports say it goes for between 6 and 7 pula per bottle.
Report by Silas Nkala
Zimbabwe’s Government Analyst Laboratory recently discredited several brands of so called mineral water which are being sold in the country.
The government analyst said some of the brands had harmful organisms, while others had high chemical compositions capable of causing cancer.
Last week Botswana’s Mid Week Sun newspaper reported that the condemned water was now being sold at bus ranks in Francistown, Palapye, Serowe and Gaborone despite
reports that the Zimbabwean authorities condemned them.
“The bottled water that has caused an uproar in Botswana’s northern neighbour due to its health risks, has now found a niche market at some of our bus ranks,” reported the paper. “For some time now the water has been sold by unsuspecting vendors to equally innocent customers at these places.”
But Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Bureau of Standards spokesperson Doreen Motshegwe told the media they were not yet aware of the bottled water’s presence in their country.
“The ministry would look into the matter and conduct its own investigations,” said Motshegwe.
The Standard’s sister paper, NewsDay uncovered the scandal in the bottled water industry early this month, where it sought the testing of water by the government analyst laboratory to establish if it was suitable for drinking.
Follow the links below to read the Newsday stories on the Bottled water scandal.
- Multimedia:Bottled water scandal exposed
- Bottled water exposé opens pandora’s box
- Bottled water saga: Companies hit back
- Consumers fume over bottled water saga
The laboratory only cleared six companies as providing safe water for drinking.
“Well, for P6 or at times P7 one can get one of the discredited bottled water at the Francistown bus and taxi terminal and other bus terminals around the
country,” The Midweek Sun reported.
The paper indicated that its survey discovered that the condemned bottled water, as well as other brands from Zambia were selling fast at the bus ranks of
Francistown, Palapye, Serowe and Gaborone.
Reports say when the Botswana weekly sought to have independent testing of the water several water testing companies in Botswana flatly refused, saying they do not want to be part of the controversy.
Zimbabwe water bottlers whose products were condemned by the Government Analyst Laboratory have however questioned the credibility of the laboratory tests claiming their products were very suitable for consumption.
They said they always tested its suitability before taking it to the consumers.
Only 11 out of 30 different brands of bottled water sold in Zimbabwe are registered with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) after meeting the minimum standards required for drinking water.