In Summary

The factory is one of 35 on the Kenyan side of the Lake Victoria Basin that have adopted new efficient production methods to recycle their waste water.

Ms Nyakang’o said pollution has been reduced significantly, with some companies cutting theirs to standards set by the National Environmental Management Authority.

Justus Oluoch, 41, a Kisumu resident, is a happy man. He can now drink water from nearby rivers safe in the knowledge that it is free from industrial effluent.

Only five years ago, he and other residents were using dirty water from rivers such as the Kibos, a key tributary that feeds into Lake Victoria, the source of fish for many Kenyans.

At the time, local industries including Kibos Sugar, had no way of avoiding to pollute the river with effluent from their plants.

“We could hardly use the water, even for washing clothes,” says Mr Oluoch.

But that is now history, thanks to works that ensures Kibos Sugar does not emit contaminated water into the river.

The factory is one of 35 on the Kenyan side of the Lake Victoria Basin that have adopted new efficient production methods to recycle their waste water.

Kibos Sugar says this has helped it reduce waste and save energy. This cut production costs by more than Sh22 million while residents say the frosty relations with the factory over water pollution have now thawed.

In Kericho county, Kitumbe Tea Factory has reduced air pollution after it adopted new technology to transport tea leaves to the plant instead of trucks that released fumes into the environment.

The sacks are taken to the plant by a cable anchored and running along towers.

The firm says it has also improved its energy efficiency with the use of renewable sources, saving Sh60 million annually.

These are just two of cases that are helping check ozone layer depletion in the Lake Victoria Basin under a Sh92.4 million funding by the World Bank and launched four years ago.

It is spearheaded by the Kenya National Cleaner Production Centre and also seeks to reduce the proliferation of water hyacinth in the lake.

Cleaner centre director Jane Nyakang’o said industries targeted are tea, sugar, fish processing, dairy, bakery, milling, bottling and distillery, textile, oil pipeline and floriculture.

She said after a company implements cleaner production methods, water, energy and raw material consumption is reduced. Less solid and water waste is emitted into Lake Victoria and that most firms had reduced their raw material, energy, water consumption by up to 50 per cent.

“It is hoped these savings can be reflected in lower cost of sugar,” she said.

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