March 2013

Water Business Kit – Kenya

A guide to starting your own water treatment and vending business.

Small-scale water treatment and vending businesses serve customers safe, treated drinking water that meets internationally accepted drinking water quality standards. These businesses operate profitably and sustainably in many parts of the world, and are particularly popular in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Recently, this business model has begun to emerge in Kenya.1

Water treatment and vending businesses are a local entrepreneurial response to consumer demand for safe drinking water that is lower-priced than traditional bottled water. These businesses have thrived where municipal water supplies are unreliable and/or potentially unsafe to drink. They treat raw water that they collect from different sources (springs, deep boreholes, tanker trucks, and municipal supplies) using state-of-the-art technologies that require minimal pre-existing technical expertise to operate.

They then package and sell the treated water in reusable, sealed bottles. Most businesses are located within the neighborhoods that they serve, and offer consumers convenience at an affordable price. Shops typically operate as ‘cash and carry’ operations although some shops also offer delivery services.

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