A woman drinking from a plastic sachet.

Water sachets or sachet water is a common form of selling pre-filtered or sanitized water in plastic, heat sealed bags in parts of the global south, and are especially popular in Africa.[1] Water sachets are cheaper to produce than plastic bottles, and easier to transport.[2] In some countries, water vendors refer to sachet water as "pure water".[3][4][5]

High demand, and poor collection of waste from consumers, has resulted in significant plastic pollution and waste from sachets throughout the West Africa.[1][3] Accumulation of sachets frequently causes blocked stormwater drainage, and other issues.[3] Some countries, such as Senegal, have banned disposable sachets.[1]

Because sachets are frequently filled in small and often unregulated facilities, inadequate sanitary conditions can occasionally result in disease or contamination.[6][2] However, in countries like Ghana consumers still prefer that access over other forms of venders, with a perception of lower risk.[2] This form of water distribution provides vital access to water in communities that otherwise wouldn't have it. However, some scholars have identified this method of distribution as having potential human rights and social justice issues, limiting the right to water and sanitation.[2][7]

Health concerns

Two children sharing a water sachet in Koundara, Guinea

Studies of sachets frequently find improper sanitary conditions among sachet producers. One study of sachets in Port Harcourt, Nigeria found that sachet water has significant contamination from various disease causing microbes.[8] Prolonged storage of the sachets found human-health threatening levels of the microbes after 4 months in several of the samples.[8] Similarly following the onset of the COVID pandemic, in Damongo found 96% of producers didn't have adequate sanitary measures.[9]

By country


A sachet water seller in Ghana
Upcycling of water sachets by the non-profit Trashy Bags into reusable shopping bags in Ghana.

Further information: Water in Ghana

Sachet water is common through Ghana.[2] A 2012 review of sachet use in Ghana found sachet water ubiquitous especially in poorer communities.[2] Sachets were typically 500 ml polyethylene bags, and heat sealed at each end.[2] Sachet water delivery is part of a larger trend in delivery by private water vendors from municipal taps.[2]

Packaging water in small plastic bags started in the 1990s, and that practice grew after the introduction of Chinese machines for filling and heat sealing bags.[2] A price increase in 2022, saw significant changes in the sales in the Ashanti region.[10]


Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Nigeria

Sachet water has become increasingly important part of the water access in Nigeria, especially fast growing cities like Lagos.[11][12] The cost of Sachet water is dependent on economic changes. In 2021, the Association for Table Water Producers of Nigeria increased the price of bag of sachet water to 200 naira due to increase in production cost.[13] A significant devaluation of local currency led to significant price increases in 2022.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Lerner, Sharon (2020-04-19). "Africa's Exploding Plastic Nightmare: As Africa Drowns in Garbage, the Plastics Business Keeps Booming". The Intercept. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stoler, Justin; Weeks, John R.; Fink, Günther (2012). "Sachet drinking water in Ghana's Accra-Tema metropolitan area: past, present, and future". Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. 2 (4): 10.2166/washdev.2012.104. doi:10.2166/washdev.2012.104. ISSN 2043-9083. PMC 3842094. PMID 24294481.
  3. ^ a b c Stoler, Justin (2012-10-11). "Improved but unsustainable: accounting for sachet water in post-2015 goals for global safe water". Tropical Medicine & International Health. 17 (12): 1506–1508. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.03099.x. ISSN 1360-2276. PMID 23051893. S2CID 205392805.
  4. ^ "Why pure water prices dey rise across Nigeria?". BBC News Pidgin. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  5. ^ Keough, Sara Beth; Youngstedt, Scott M. (2018-01-09). "'Pure water' in Niamey, Niger: the backstory of sachet water in a landscape of waste". Africa. 88 (1): 38–62. doi:10.1017/S0001972017000560. ISSN 0001-9720. S2CID 149122566.
  6. ^ Fisher, Michael B.; Williams, Ashley R.; Jalloh, Mohamed F.; Saquee, George; Bain, Robert E. S.; Bartram, Jamie K. (2015-07-10). "Microbiological and Chemical Quality of Packaged Sachet Water and Household Stored Drinking Water in Freetown, Sierra Leone". PLOS ONE. 10 (7): e0131772. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1031772F. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131772. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4498897. PMID 26162082.
  7. ^ Morinville, Cynthia (2017-09-11). "Sachet water: regulation and implications for access and equity in Accra, Ghana". WIREs Water. 4 (6). doi:10.1002/wat2.1244. ISSN 2049-1948. S2CID 168637685. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  8. ^ a b "Storage Effects on the Quality of Sachet Water Produced within Port Harcourt Metropolis, Nigeria". platform.almanhal.com. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  9. ^ Amuah, Ebenezer Ebo Yahans; Bekoe, Emmanuel Martin Obeng; Kazapoe, Raymond Webrah; Dankwa, Paul; Nandomah, Solomon; Douti, Nang Biyogue; Abanyie, Samuel Kojo; Okyere, Isaac Kwaku (2021-08-01). "Sachet water quality and Vendors' practices in Damongo, northern Ghana during the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 using multivariate statistics, water quality and pollution indices, and panel assessment". Environmental Challenges. 4: 100164. Bibcode:2021EnvCh...400164A. doi:10.1016/j.envc.2021.100164. ISSN 2667-0100. PMC 9767321. PMID 37522148. S2CID 236239772.
  10. ^ "Sachet water vendors and consumers lament low patronage due to price increase - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. 2022-01-18. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  11. ^ "Lagos: Growth without infrastructure" (PDF). Stimson Global Health Security. c. 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  12. ^ Ighalo, Joshua O.; Adeniyi, Adewale George (2020-12-01). "A comprehensive review of water quality monitoring and assessment in Nigeria". Chemosphere. 260: 127569. Bibcode:2020Chmsp.260l7569I. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127569. ISSN 0045-6535. PMID 32688315. S2CID 220669885.
  13. ^ "Why we increased price of sachet water to 200 naira per bag — ATWAP". Vanguard News. 2021-11-11. Archived from the original on 2022-04-09. Retrieved 2022-04-09.
  14. ^ Nigeria, News Agency Of (2022-03-03). "Producers explain why a bag of sachet water now sells for N250 in Ogun". Pulse Nigeria. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  15. ^ "Inflation: Pure water price rises to N20 per sachet". Nairametrics. 2022-03-05. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.