Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Green campaign helps six Lake Victoria basin firms save KSh1bn

Six companies based in the Lake Victoria Basin saved nearly Sh1 billion last year owing to adoption of cleaner production strategies, in a campaign meant to reduce pollution of the fresh-water lake.

A report by the government-affiliated agency, Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre, says the companies are saving millions of shillings and releasing less waste to the environment.

According to the Industry Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production report, Sh9.6 billion is lost annually through inefficient use of resources (water, energy and material inputs).

The aim, according to the centre, is to ensure that participating firms in the basin reduce pollution by up to 35 per cent by 2015.

“The sugar industry that is currently threatened by the lapse of Comesa safeguards can reduce its production costs and make its products more competitive by embracing resource efficient production methods,” says the report.


According to the report, Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries is one of the biggest reformers in waste water management campaigns, having reduced its effluent by 70 per cent.

Therefore, people living downstream are enjoying cleaner water, says the report, adding that the firm is saving Sh7 million annually on that front. The firm is also reported to have reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for climate change, by 16 per cent.

The report says Nzoia Sugar has saved Sh38.4 million through prudent solid waste treatment and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

“The savings have come mainly from improvements on the company’s reduced reworks and spillages of cane fibre and sugar making processes,” said KNCPC director Jane Nyakang’o.

Ms Nyakang’o said the centre was regularly assessing companies along the Lake Victoria Basin to identify potential interventions for energy efficiency, water use and waste reduction.

According to the report, Kitumbe Tea Factory in Kericho did well in energy management, cutting losses of Sh13.4 million. Electricity consumption fell by 53 per cent in the past two years, the report says.

Rift Valley Bottlers made great strides in water use reduction and energy waste. It reportedly saved Sh25.5 million through prudent use of energy and water waste reduction.


Other top performers included United Millers Bakery, where there was a reduction of water usage and environmental pollution, leading to total savings of Sh575,550.

Equator Bottlers excelled in green house emission reduction and waste water management. The company saved Sh127.5 million on energy.

Eldoret-based garment firm Ken Knit also recorded better grades in solid waste reduction. “Material wastages and reworking were reduced,” the report notes, adding that the company is now able to save at least Sh6.8 million.

Promotion of cleaner production technologies is being undertaken by the Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre, under the wider Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme, which is set to run until 2015.

A total of 65 industries have received training on resource efficiency and cleaner production techniques, with 38 of them implementing the new measures.