Mohamed Ibrahim back for Zamalek after brief Portuguese spell    Thousands mourn soldiers killed in Sinai attacks    Air strikes alone not enough to defeat Islamic State: NATO chief    Preview: Underdogs eye semi-final berth at Nations Cup    ElBaradei tweets Quranic verse in response to Sinai attacks    Al-Sisi ‘presided over a state of impunity': HRW    Al-Sisi cuts Africa Summit visit short after Sinai killings    Italy Serie A is not what it was, says former Cameroon striker Eto'o    BREAKING: Sisi cuts short AU visit following Sinai attack    US armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps    Yemen: Is Southern secession possible?    Greece Markets hit by Debt Default Fears    DJ Zo'la's funeral takes place in Cairo    Parliamentary applications to be accepted from 8 February    Egypt allows pound to weaken to new low of 7.49 per dollar    Samsung Earnings hit by Tumbling Mobile Sales    Official: Egypt condemns 'Acute Deterioration of Human Rights' in Turkey    McDonald's chief executive steps down after sales slump    Egypt on a Mission to Restore Confidence in its Economy    Ethiopia aims to soothe Egypt Fears over the Nile    Islamic State purportedly sets new deadline for hostage swap    Wedding bells and curlers at Gaultier for fashion week    Egyptian Industries Federation to promote Economic Summit in Africa    Government encourages Luxor, Aswan trips to promote domestic tourism    Memorandum signed for storage, distribution of food products in Egypt    High accident rates threaten Red Sea tourism: Ministry official    Egypt takes issue with AU inclusion of Turkey, Qatar in Libya meeting    28 January 2011: Egypt's Bastille Day    Bird flu kills woman in Giza, 10th death this year    Egyptian pound weakens to fresh low of 7.46 per dollar    Egypt hits out at 'Untruthful' Statements from Foreign Countries on 25 Jan Violence    Egypt to apply for North Africa candidacy on UN Security Council    Doctor jailed after Egypt's First FGM Conviction    29 injured In Egypt's Menoufiya Train Fire    Bomb on track halts trains in Beheira    2nd round Drift Championship 2014/2015 to launch in February    BREAKING: Egypt convicts doctor, father in first ever FGM trial    PepsiCo considers developing Pepsi league for students in Egypt: Ahmed El-Sheikh    Text of Saudi King Salman's speech after taking the throne    Art Alert: Cairo Opera House suspends all concerts for seven days    Sotheby's Fends Off Rare Negligence Suit Over Caravaggio Dispute    Antiquities ministry requests EGP 488m to continue projects: Cabinet spokesman    Faten Hamama's shining star fades away    Ronaldo wins best player title for 2nd year: FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015    Japan funds Egyptian palm handicrafts project    Mortada Mansour: The Football Eccentric Dividing Egypt    Shah Rukh Khan's ‘Happy New Year' To Release In Egypt On December    VIDEO: ENPPI upset Zamalek to top league    







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




Your friends recommend

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.