Last week, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) awarded outstanding industries that demonstrated good practices through use of cleaner production technologies in water use, energy, waste water, and material and solid waste management.
The awards are part of efforts by the agency to encourage industrialists to adopt good business practices to prevent pollution and other forms of environmental degradation.
The initiative is a step forward in the campaign against air pollution from industrial manufacturers since they are the biggest polluters of the environment. It will also build a sense of ownership among industries to rally behind environment protection efforts.
Firms which were awarded, should share the best practices so that other companies can emulate them. Adoption of resource efficient and cleaner production is key to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.
However, more efforts should be put in place to closely monitor industries to ensure that their activities are in line with the law on pollution mitigation, especially those located in urban areas. It should be mandatory for every manufacturing plant to have a policy on environment protection. Those that go against this requirement should be reprimanded.
Indeed, just like outstanding industries were awarded for putting in place good measures to avoid pollution, REMA should also have stringent measures against industries that flout the rules on environmental protection.
Though air pollution levels in Rwanda are still low compared to developed countries, more efforts are needed to avoid any hazardous effects from industries.
In the same vein, the national cleaner production centre in mainstreaming resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP) programme should be fast tracked in order to reduce pollution posed by industries. The RECP programme is a preventative environmental strategy designed to address low productivity and high pollution intensity of industries.