Simple steps industries can take to save money and cut lake pollutants

 New technology reduces pollution and saves manufacturers huge sums of money

      Industries within the Lake Basin have been said to contribute 90 per cent of the total waste polluting Lake Victoria.

According to the Kenya Naional Cleaner Production Cenre, 88 out of 1,100industries operatingin the region were found to release seven tonnes of indusrial waste into the lake annually. The waste, which includes biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand andtennessee, are said to be the most dangerous components of the industrial waste finding its way into the lake.

These chemicals endanger marine life and that of the millions of people who use the lake water. A report by Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme (LVEMP) done between 2010 and this year, however, indicates that industries adopting cleaner production methods can reduce the lake's pollution by up to 50 per cent. It further revealed that industries can reduce expenses on enrgy, water and material by 40 per cent if they adopt the cleaner production technology.

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Pollution in Lake Victoria. INSET:A worker at Kibos Sugar. [PHOTOS:PHILIP ORWA]

      The Cleaner Production Centre'sregional co-ordinator Jane Nyakang'o says LVEMP wants to reduce environmental stress facing the lake as a result of industrial pollution and unsustainable consumption of resources.Nyakang'o said through LVEMP, private sector investments in cleaner production technologies within the period amounted to Sh6.7 billion - funds used to phase out older technologies that release excess waste into environment. LVEMP has now launched a programme to ensure that all the industries contributing to the pollution adopt the cleaner produttion methods in a bid to save the lake and its sources.

"Cleaner production's economic benefits outweigh the cost of inaction. But more importantly, Lake Victoria Basin must kept conducive for the coming generations," says Nyakang'o.

     The commission has embarked on recognising efforts put in place by industries to attain zero per cent pollution of the lake and awarding them. It is currently promoting voluntary adoption of the new technologies but with time, all industries will be obliged to abide by the minimum technological requirements to ensure that the lake is not damaged.

-This year, 35 industries out of the 88 adopting the cleaner production participated in a competition titled Creating Wealth Without Waste and Doing More With Less.

    The competition held in Entebbe, Uganda, saw Kenya's Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries Limited of Kisumu among the winners. It was the best in Waste Water Reduction. The company revised its operations including reduction of cane trampling, dry cleaning the shop floors, repairing gland leaks, eliminating juice leaks and fixing flow metres to monitor water use.

This article is also available online the Standard Newspaper




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