Bottled Water Soaks Addis Abeba

On a hot, humid, sunny day in February, Binyam Girma, a 30-year-old house broker, was quenching his thirst by drinking from a one-litre bottle of water branded Aqua Safe in the shade of a kiosk around Kirkos. He drinks a minimum of two litres a day, always from a one-litre size bottle.

“I prefer this size as the half-litre one ends too fast, and the two-litre one is not comfortable to carry,” says Binyam.

The tidy little kiosk of Gizaw Kitabo, where Binyam is a customer, has dozens of different bottled waters, such as Aqua Safe, Aqua Addis, Arki, Classy and Fiker. They all come in various sizes, including the 20lt ones that Abyssinia and Classy bottle.

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