Entebbe. “We have made it, we have made it,” repeatedly screamed members of a small Tanzanian delegation to the East African Community (EAC) Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) award giving ceremony for the Lake Victoria Basin industries in Entebbe, Uganda, on June 10, 2014.
The members of the group wore a broad smile after Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) Mwanza plant was declared overall corporate winner of the RECP regional award during a colourful award gala.
The Mwanza-based brewery was followed by Crown Beverages Ltd of Uganda and Kibos Sugar and Allied Company of Kenya while JFK Kitumbe Tea Factory of Kenya was given special recognition for being innovative.
TBL emerged victorious after excelling in water use and energy management in the fierce environmental competition that attracted seven industries from Tanzania, eight from Uganda and 20 from Kenya.
The 35 industries are promoting RECP under guidance from national cleaner production centres of respective countries in a programme aimed at reducing environmental stresses facing Lake Victoria Basin arising from industrial pollution and un-sustainable consumption of resources.
The industries competed in six categories of solid waste management, water use management, waste water management, energy management, and special recognition and overall corporate awards.
The water use management category was scooped by TBL Mwanza plant followed by Rift Valley Bottlers of Kenya and Crown Beverages Ltd of Uganda, and the energy management category was taken by TBL Mwanza plant followed by JFK Kitumbe Tea Factory of Kenya and Crown Beverages Ltd of Uganda.
The waste water management category was lifted by Kibos Sugar and Allied Company of Kenya followed by Nyanza Bottling Company of Tanzania and Leather Industries of Uganda, and the solid waste management was taken by Nzoia Sugar factory of Kenya, Sadolins Paint Ltd of Uganda and Nile Perch Fisheries Ltd of Tanzania.
Since 2010, Cleaner Production Centre of Tanzania (CPCT) and other national cleaner production centres (NCPCs) in the EAC partner states have been promoting cleaner production technologies in businesses in the Lake Victoria Basin under phase II of the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project (LVEMP II).
LVEMP II is a regional project being implemented by the five riparian countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi that share the Lake Victoria Basin.
Ms Jane Nyakang’o, LVEMP II Cleaner Production Regional Coordinator, said each participating industry has reduced pollution by at least between 35 and 50 per cent.
“Communities also benefited through improved water quality, improved air quality and reduction of smell,” said Ms Nyakang’o, who is also director of Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre.
She said national cleaner production awards were held in Kenya on December 5, 2012, in Uganda on May 8, 2013 and in Tanzania on June 28, 2013.
“This is a great night for us. Scooping the overall corporate RECP award shows how serious we are working hard towards reducing environmental stresses within Lake Victoria,” said Erick Ernest, process engineer with TBL Mwanza plant shortly after he was presented with the award by Ugandan minister of State for Environment, Ms Flavia Nabugere.
The executive director of Cleaner Production Centre of Tanzania (CPTC), Prof Cleophas Migiro, said it was inspiring that a Tanzanian firm had lifted the overall corporate RECP award.
“The award is a reflection that these industries within the Lake Victoria Basin have started to understand the importance of RECP and they are responding well,” Prof Migiro told The Citizen on Sunday after the TBL Mwanza plant scooped the prestigious award.
The deputy permanent secretary in the Vice President’s Office (Environment), Ms Angelina Madete, said: “I am very excited. This victory has not come on a silver platter. Our industries are working hard towards the implementation of RECP.”
Ms Madete said she recently visited TBL Mwanza plant and Nyanza Bottling Company Ltd where she was impressed by the way the two industries were implementing RECP.
Mr Sunday Kidolezi, utilities manager with TBL Mwanza plant, narrated his company’s success stories following the implementation of cleaner production since 2010.
He said total investment cost on water saving initiatives up to date was $78,300, adding that in 2011-2012 water consumption at the plant was reduced by 44 per cent from initial implementation of RECP.
Mr Kidolezi said in 2013-2014 the overall water usage was reduced to 55 per cent.
He said total costs of investment for waste water reduction are $132,000 plus a monthly service of $12,000 for effluent management.
In terms of benefits, overall waste water generated has been reduced from 383,317 cubic metres in 2011-2012 to 247,287 cubic metres in 2012-2013, said Mr Kidolezi.
“In 2013-2014 the wastewater generated was 229,060 cubic metres which is 40 per cent reduction in waste water generated,” said Mr Kidolezi.
He said total investment costs on technological changes and reliability improvement was $1,275,000, adding that in 2011-2012 the overall carbon dioxide emissions were on an average of 8,909 tonnes a year while in 2012-2013 the emissions were decreased to an average of 6,847 tonnes a year which was more than 23 per cent reduction.
In 2013-2014 the carbon dioxide emissions was 4,451 tonnes giving a 50 per cent reduction in emissions, said the utilities manager.
The Lake Victoria Basin Commission executive director, Dr Canisius Kanangire, challenged participating industries to be ambassadors of cleaner production. “We have to change the way we are producing whatever we produce,” said Dr Kanangire, adding: “We have to protect the shared ecosystem of the basin.”
Dr Patrick Mwesigye, UNEP Africa regional coordinator for resource efficiency, said: “Every effort to reduce pollution in Lake Victoria is a welcome gesture.”
He challenged industries that received the awards to maintain the momentum in implementing RECP, however, saying that this was a long journey.
Dr Mwesigye said UNEP would continue working with national cleaner production centres in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda and ensure that the noble cause of RECP implementation was implemented to the letter.