Dairiboard, Tanganda say their bottled water safe to drink

HARARE - Some bottled water producers have rejected a report by the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) investigators that their water was unsafe for drinking, saying the State agency was making “false allegations”.

This comes after a report by Ema suggested several brands including leading brands Aqualite (from Dairiboard), Tanganda’s Tinga mira, Oasis Still, Crystal Purelife, Spar Purified, Nature’s Paradise, Spadmile Waters and Setzer consisted high levels of bacteria harmful to human consumption.

In the report, Ema said 11 out of 17 bottled water brands which they had tested contained high levels of heterotrophic plate counts (HPC).

The HPC, the report said, are above Standards Association of Zimbabwe (Saz) acceptable drinking water limit of agar plate count per millilitre of 100.

This comes as bottled-water consumption in Zimbabwe reached 300 000 litres daily, competing with carbonated soft drinks.

Dairibord Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (DZPL) — who are into manufacturing and marketing of liquid milk, food and beverage products and whose product range include Aqualite Mineral Water —  said in a statement yesterday its bottled water was a Saz-certified mineral water “bottled under world class manufacturing conditions.”

“The Saz certification is an endorsement on the safety of Dairibord Aqualite as Saz undertakes its own independent verification,” the Antony Mandiwanza-led behemoth said.

“Dairiboard Aqualite undergoes rigorous processing that ensures that the water is free of any contaminants. During processing, every batch is tested in order to provide extra assurance to our valued customers. We keep samples of our products for verification.

“We are therefore ready and willing to go through testing and verification with anyone who doubts our safety and quality claims on Dairiboard Aqualite. As a mineral water, Dairibord Aqualite has the added advantage in that it contains essential minerals that contribute to the sustenance of good health.”

Tanganda Tea company secretary Henry Nemaire said the company’s bottled Tinga mira water drawn from a spring situated in Chipinge had undergone various independent and government laboratory tests and came out clean.

He said they were surprised by the Ema report and had engaged the agency to establish how it had come to its conclusion.

“Tanganda Tea operations are certified to the The Rainforest Alliance. It is a standard that promotes excellency in sustaining biodiversity and people and consumer livelihoods.

“It is a standard that promotes excellency in sustaining biodiversity and people and consumer livelihoods,” he said in a statement.

“In accordance with requirement of our Rainforest Alliance certification, the raw Tinga mira spring water is subject of annual tests and the most recent such laboratory examination of the raw Tinga mira spring water was carried out by Ema on April 9, 2018. As expected the results of this test were even the raw (before purification) water is safe for human consumption.”

Nemaire insisted the brand conforms to all standards set by World Health Organisation and also collaborate with other independent water testing laboratories.

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