Of all the countries in the world, which would you suppose is developing a National Policy on Packaged and Bottled Water ?
There may be others, but I’m not aware of any. So this may be the first such initiative. It’s been taken by the Minister of State for Trade in Uganda.
The three main reasons appear to be market growth, counterfeiting and tax disparities.
• ‘Bottled water has become a very important commodity’ and the Minister wishes “to make sure the industry grows.”
• He also wants to “get rid of counterfeit bottled water products and illegal players.”
• The third issue is that different tax rates across East and Central Africa make Uganda producers less competitive. Kenya levies no duty, Tanzania charges 5% and Uganda exacts 10%.
According to the Uganda Water and Juice Manufacturers Association Secretary, “until now the unofficial policy in Uganda considers bottled water to be a luxury product, whereas we all know that water is life and is consumed by everybody.”