March 17, 2014

Masaka Nuns Illegally Bottle, Sell Water

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is investigating circumstances under which several products including mineral water, holy salt and cosmetics got into Ugandan market.

UNBA PRO Margeret Lukowe speaking to journalists about fake products.
UNBA PRO Margeret Lukowe speaking to journalists about fake products.

UNBS’ intervention stems from reports indicating that greater Masaka region is one of the areas mostly flooded with counterfeit products.

Some of the products being investigated are Banafont Mineral water processed by Banabikira Sisters, in Bwanda nunnery, Holy Salt processed by Gogonya Nuns and several cosmetics. These products do not have UNBS logos and verification certificate indicating their selling on Ugandan market is suspicious.

These products are already in several shops and supermarkets in Masaka.

Margaret Lukowe, the UNBS Spokesperson says they have taken samples of mineral water and cosmetics products for verification. Lukowe says they are also investigating how some cosmetics got onto the Ugandan market. She does not name any of them but warns the general public against using cosmetics without verification.

Lukowe also warns the general public of the fake solar panels on the market.

She blames the problem on the porous routes around the country that importers use to sneak substandard products into the country.

Banabikira Sisters who make Banafont Water declined to comment on the matter. One of the nuns at DM Supermarket that belongs to Sisters of Bwanda Convent said she cannot comment on the water.

Deus Kamara, a supervisor of Good Samaritan Supermarket, says they get goods from genuine suppliers. He says they are confused on how to determine genuine and fake products because they all have UNBS seals indicating they are genuine. Kamara however admits that some cosmetics expire so soon and when they ask suppliers to change them, they refuse.

Wasswa Ssempijja, the Lwengo district Commercial Officer, claims that in addition to fake electronic and illegal mineral water, majority of weighing scales used in shops in Lwengo are fake. He claims that his simple survey indicated that almost all the weighing scales used in Mbirizi, Kinoni, Kyazanga and other small trading centres are not up to standard.

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