Industries without water treatment plants warned

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MINICOM) will soon start a crackdown on industries that do not have water treatment facilities. This comes after the ministry discovered that many industries lack water treatment systems and are polluting the environment, which puts communities at risk..
Pineapples being washed at Inyange. The residue water can be recycled and reused.  The New Times / T. Kisambira.
Pineapples being washed at Inyange. The residue water can be recycled and reused. The New Times / T. Kisambira.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MINICOM) will soon start a crackdown on industries that do not have water treatment facilities. This comes after the ministry discovered that many industries lack water treatment systems and are polluting the environment, which puts communities at risk..

Seth Kwizera, the in charge of the cleaner production department at MINICOM, noted that the ministry was training officials from several industries across the country to help them understand the importance of having treatment plants.

“After this, we will give them an ultimatum within which to have installed the treatment plants,” he said. He, however, did not reveal names of the defaulting companies.

Speaking at the three-day workshop organised by MINICOM, Kwizera told about 30 representatives of industries they would boost their competitiveness on the local and regional market if they put in place water saving initiatives.

“Water is the principle raw material for beverage industries and, therefore, its availability in adequate quantities and quality determines the viability of these industries. They should also know that instead of dumping and spolluting the environment, used water can be treated and reused for other purposes such as irrigation,” Kwizera explained.

“The industries are also scattered around in a disorganised manner and, thus, lack infrastructure and a system through which they can manage waste collectively.”

MINICOM’s move was lauded by some industrialists, saying that it would improve product quality and marketability.

“Water management is important for quality management and enhances product safety. It must, however, go hand-in-hand with other factors such as energy-saving and efficiency,” Senthil Kumar, the plant manager at the plastic division of Sulfor, said.

“Sulfo does not dump the waste water, but treats and reuses it in toilets. We also collect rainwater so that we can have abundance. On top of that, we installed water metres in each consumption point to monitor and control usage.”

Christine Rwivanga, the occupational hygiene and environment co-ordinator at Inyange Industries, said on top of owning a water treatment plant, the beverages company has a technical team that provides daily and monthly reports on water usage.

“Inyange is keen about water usage and has everything in place to ensure that water is not wasted. The water and waste treatment plant helps us to reuse water in activities such as irrigating our gardens,” Rwivanga said.

But the move is not as easy as it may sound and could see some industries continuing to default.

“It is not an easy venture and many other industries may ignore it, but waste water management is a priority for the emerging industrial sector of our economy,” Rwivanga said.

MINICOM will not limit the water management campaign to industries, but also plans to widen it to service providers including hotels.

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