UK House of Commons discusses Brotherhood's situation in UAE    Government agencies' dues to EGPC amounted to EGP 121bn at end of past FY    GOEIC rejects 153 imported containers due to non-conformity    Tecno aims to increase its market share to 15% by end of 2017    Shoukry meets Greek PM, discusses cooperation and terrorism    Administrative court postpones lawsuit to suspend licensing of Careem and Uber to 14 May    Nine employees of Telecom Egypt released following investigation    12 officials referred to trial for illegal seizure of Pyramid samples    Pope's message to people of Egypt: cradle of civilization, gift of the Nile, land of sun and hospitality    Egypt: Our popular tourist sites are safe    Turkish airstrikes hit Kurds in Iraq and Syria    Unruly fans prompt probe against Frankfurt, Cologne, HSV    Hanover fair: fellow robot?    Annual Goldman Environmental Prize awarded to grassroots activists    Williams accuses Nastase of racist comments as Fed Cup storm grows    Threatened road verges keep rare wild flowers from extinction, says charity    Gladbach and Frankfurt seek dream ticket to Berlin    First Lady of Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald's 100th anniversary of birth    France honours police officer killed in Champs-Elysees attack    KSA discusses war on ISIS with US Special Presidential Envoy    The Muslim Brotherhood: A History of Blood and Terror    Muslim Brotherhood and Extremism    The Muslim Brotherhood and Caliphate    Court hands death sentences to 20 defendants in Kerdasa case    Third National Youth Conference starts Tuesday in Ismailia    Tripartite committee discusses impact studies of Ethiopian dam    Barbra Streisand at 75: A girl from Brooklyn makes it big    The girl who refused to wear "Hijab" in Egyp!    Egypt adopts policies to empower youth, women    Egypt investment minister meets first vice president of EBRD    Australian couple's Walk Like an Egyptian video goes viral in Egypt    مباشر – مانشستر يونايتد 0-0 أندرلخت    Welcome to the male-only stick dance in Egypt    'Al Halal' play tours Egypt's governorates to combat extremism    بارترا يتحدث بعد "أطول 15 دقيقة في حياته"    بعد تألقه ضد إستوريل.. زيزو في فريق الأسبوع بالدوري البرتغالي    Ahmad praises Egypt's role, rules out CAF move    Egypt wins 11 medals in Muay Thai amateur championship    Newsreel    New Year routine    Imminent cabinet reshuffle    Footballer furore    In quest of national consensus    ‘Protecting the weakest'    Briefs    IMF open to scrutiny    Art heist goes wrong    All the fun of the Book Fair    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Not a drop to drink
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 30 - 08 - 2012

An unprecedented shortage in the supply of bottled water leaves the market thirsty, Nesma Nowar reports
Bottled water is a scarce commodity in Egypt these days. Supermarket racks are empty of bottled water and customers often have to visit more than five places in the hope to getting one bottle of water.
��No bottled water" is repeatedly heard by customers entering supermarkets.
The shortage started during the fasting month of Ramadan, but has since escalated. In addition to scarcity, bottled water now costs as much as 40 per cent more than its pre-shortage price. A box of bottled water could now reach LE40 compared to LE23 before Ramadan.
One owner of a supermarket in Cairo's Mohandessin neighbourhood, attributed the shortage in supply to the closure of seven mineral water companies on grounds that they did not meet health and safety standards.
He said that shutting down these companies affected the supply of bottled water in the market and that the remaining companies could not cope with the increased market demand.
��I cannot order any quantity of water now," the owner told Al-Ahram Weekly. "I only can get a maximum of 10 boxes."
As for prices hikes, the shop owner stated that water companies did not increase their prices. Rather, wholesale traders have taken advantage of the shortage to raise prices.
Several supermarkets visited by the Weekly attributed the shortage to the same reason. Ahmed Ali, owner of a kiosk in the Dokki district, said that he did not buy any new bottled water since the end of Ramadan because of its increased price. "I refuse to buy the bottled water at LE32 per box as in this case I would have to increase the sales price."
In June, the Egyptian Ministry of Health shut down seven mineral water companies out of a total of 15 operating�ê�.�ê� The companies were closed after test results from random samples of groundwater wells used by the companies showed they contain water pollutants, including live protozoa.
That is not the only factor behind the current crisis, according to Ahmed Yehia, head of the foodstuffs division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.
Yehia said that an increased consumption of bottled water this summer has compounded the problem. He stated that the extraordinarily hot summer prompted people to drink more water, which in turn increased consumption.
Moreover, he said, bottled water consumption normally peaks at this time of the year, where it coincides with summer holidays. "That is why the shortage is more evident in coastal cities where many Egyptians go to escape the summer heat."
Yehia also blamed recurrent power cuts during summer for the crisis. He explained that power outages resulted in interruptions in the supply of water to various buildings, especially the high-rise buildings. This in turn added to bottled water consumption. "Increased demand accompanied by a decline in supply has led to the current crisis," Yehia told the Weekly.
Yehia affirmed that mineral water companies did not increase prices, with the exception of one company that raised prices 20 per cent. He added that other prices hikes could occur during trade cycles through wholesale or retail sellers. "At the end of the day, bottled water is a commodity that is subject to supply and demand."
Yehia underlined that Egypt's production of bottled water is sufficient for local consumption and the present shortage is "unprecedented" and due to increased demand.
The biggest victim of this shortage has been the tourism sector. Board member of the Egyptian Hotel Association, Haitham Nassar, said that the crisis has negatively affected hotels, especially those in tourist areas, as demand in these areas is high.
He said that hotels that had contracts with any of the seven companies that were shut down suffered the most. "These hotels are witnessing problems in bottled water supply and probably would see price hikes."
Meanwhile, Nassar affirmed that the situation could have been much worse had occupancy rates in hotels reached pre-revolution levels. He explained that the downturn in the tourism sector persists and that occupancy levels remain low.
Yehia expects the crisis to be over within a month when the summer season comes to an end, temperatures decrease, and power cuts -- the result of shortages in capacity in part driven by the strains of the summer heat -- become less frequent.


Clic here to read the story from its source.