Monday, February 19, 2018
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The National Director for Water and Sanitation (DNSA), Rui de Sousa, said the water brand Gota was safe to drink and met World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

The company’s owner, Nilton Gusmão, said the company had opted to do routine testing at the DNSA laboratory rather than the National Health Laboratory due to the lack of equipment.

A total of 12 companies are quality tested at the DNSA laboratory, but he said only Gota, W-mori, VIP and Cool are tested monthly. 

The other eight companies: Top fresh, Golden Agua, IRA-MOR, BE’E MOR, Elite, Sun International (H2O) and CHILED are only tested annually, although de Sousa said the products were safe to drink.

“They are supposed to do routine testing every month,” he said at his office in Kaikoli, Dili.

He said the drinking water was tested according to 15 parameters, including color, odor and microbial contaminates.

However, it is up to the companies which parameters they choose to test for.

He urged the relevant ministries to ensure water products met quality standards and were safe to drink before being distributed to the market.

Media reports last month quoting a source from the National Health Laboratory suggested that Gota water production was of poor of quality.

In response to the issue, the company’s owner, Nilton Gusmão, said the company had opted to do routine testing at the DNSA laboratory rather than the National Health Laboratory due to the lack of equipment.

Gusmão said that using only the parameters of odor and sight to test for water quality was not accurate.

“That’s why we are disappointed with information that our product is poor of quality,” he said.

However, he was confident the reports would not damage the company’s reputation or affect its customer base.

He gave reassurances that the company would be closed immediately if the government found any issues with the product that could be harmful to people’s health.

He said local entrepreneurs faced significant challenges in the market as it continued to be dominated by imported products and many people still preferred to buy imported products rather than local.

“It is not easy changing their thoughts about the products that are produced in our country,” he said.

Since the company was established four years ago, he said products were distributed only in Dili and a small number of municipalities as it was still difficult to compete with imported products on the market.

He said the company only employed 32 young people due to limited financial capacity.

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