How to start a water refilling business in Kenya


Water refilling business is one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya. The cost of starting the business ranges between Ksh 600,000 and Ksh 1.5 million. Most of the money will go into acquiring licenses, rent,buying delivery motorbikes and water purification machines.

Here is the process to follow when starting the business:

  • Identify suitable area for the business

Do a thorough survey to identify areas where the business can be profitable. The most ideal areas include:

  1. Estates in cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu
  2. Shopping malls
  3. Rural shopping centers
  4. Colleges/universities
  5. Hospitals
  6. Markets
  7. Near industries

Water refilling business is most profitable in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eastern, Nakuru, North Eastern and all other areas where rain is not sufficient.

When starting this business, avoid areas with a lot of rain like Kisii and Eldoret where people capture rain water for drinking.

  • Pay for licenses

There are many licenses which you are required to obtain for you to run the business efficiently. You will spend over Ksh 100k for licenses alone.

1. County Single permit License 18,500/-
2. Public Health Licence and Testing 13,000/-
3. KEBS certification 102,000/-
4. KRA Custom Excise Licence 50,000/-
5. KRA Custom Excise Bond 300,000/-
6. KRA Custom Excise Stamp Minimum 50000/-
7. NEMA License 33,000/-
8. Mandatory Independent Testing Lab and MOU 15,000/-

All those licences are for water refilling and packaging company. But for a small refilling company, you may not need all the licenses. The most basic licenses are the one for the County, Public health, Kebs and KRA stamp.

Make sure you have Ksh 100,000 for the licenses only.

  • Identify a suitable location

Identify a suitable location for setting up the business. It should be spacious and easily accessible. Rent for such business vary depending on the town you wish to set it up. In Nairobi, you will need Ksh50, 000 to Ksh 150,000 per month. Together with good will and other charges, your rent will be Ksh 200,000 for the start. Every month, your rent will range between Ksh 50,000 and Ksh150, 000

  • Buy equipment

There are many types of equipment you are required to buy. Invest in high-quality water filtration and dispensing equipment to ensure that you are providing clean and safe drinking water to your customers. Water purification and treatment machine costs Ksh 60,000 to Ksh 250,000.Go for the best quality machine.

Another thing you should not forget is motorbikes. They will be used to deliver water to your clients. One motorbike costs Ksh 70,000 to Ksh150,000.

  • Install the machines and start the business

Installing the machines and starting the business takes one to 2 days.

  • Profits expected from water refilling business

Depending on location, water refilling business will generate profits of Ksh 3,000 to Ksh30,000 per day.A 20 litre bottle will retail at Ksh 150 to Ksh 250.The cost of purification and purchase of water is Ksh 100,you will make over Ksh 100 from each bottle.If you sell 30 bottles per day,that’s a profit of Ksh3,000.


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