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Leather Common Waste Disposal System To Be Constructed In Modjo

Published on: Sun, 2014-01-26 00:00

The Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) will start building a common waste disposal system in Modjo town, 71 km from Addis Abeba, for the 31 tanneries in Ethiopia.All of them are expected to move there within three years time or set up their own disposal systems, Fortune reported.

The construction will begin in two weeks, after a detailed feasibly study, which was commenced two weeks ago, is finalised, Fortune learnt.

The Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) could cost over 42 million dollars, says Berhanu Nigus, coordinator of the Production &Productivity Sector at the Institute.

The financial support could come from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which helped in the prefeasibility study, according to Berhanu. Otherwise, the LIDI is confident that the Ethiopian government will construct the project on its own if these do not come to fruition.

Seven stakeholders-the Ministry of Industry (MoI), Addis Abeba University (AAU), Federal Environmental Protection, UNIDO, LIDI, Addis Abeba Environmental Protection Authority and Oromia Environmental Protection Authority-are overseeing the project.

The LIDI heads the technical committee.

Funded by the UNIDO, the pre-feasibility study has been conducted by five professional international experts and four local experts in the field. It took two years to complete.

Getting all the tanneries at one site will be cost-effective in treating their waste, says Tadesse Haile, state minister for Industry.

The LIDI has set up an environmental technology directorate to oversee the project.

The next move, after they build the common waste disposal system, will be establishing an industrial zone for leather factories, according to Berhanu. The tanneries will move to the zone voluntarily, Berhanu said.

“Those that wish to stay where they are will be expected to have their own treatment systems,”he added.

Two years ago, the Institute secured 100ha of land from the Oromia Region.

“We agreed with the Modjo Town Municipality to make Modjo a leather cluster,” Berhanu said. “It will soon take off the ground, hopefully.”

The LIDI has been gathering up speed in the project process, following the reminders it has been receiving from the government.

Following the imposition of 150pc tax on semi-processed leather products, which was intended to discourage their export, the tanneries have, on several occasions, been telling the Institute that they have spent a lot of money on large machinery and cannot install the waste treatment plant, Berhanu Serjabo, the LIDI’s communication Directorate, said.

The export revenue of leather and leather products in the first quarter of the 2013/14 fiscal year amounted to 628 million dollars. This is just 71.4pc of the government’s plan for the period and 10pc lower than the same period a year ago.

After the issuance of the Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation, new tanneries are required to build factories with waste sewerage systems.

Twelve out of 31 tanneries have a first level sewerage system; seven have a second level sewerage system, while eight of them have per first sewerage. Three factories are constructing first level sewerage system.

“But none of those levels qualify,” Berhanu, the coordinator of production sector,  said. “That explains why the study has been conducted.”

The Ministry of Environment & Forests ordered all tanneries to construct a sewerage system, to be completed by January 2014. None of the tanneries complied with this, due to alack of budget.

“The tanneries have expressed this concern to the Institute on several occasions,” the coordinator  said.

It was the decision of the Ethiopian government to impose 150pc tax on semi-processed leather to discourage its export. This forced many factories to import large machineries to produce finished leather.

“This took a huge capital investment and many failed to construct the sewerage system,” says Berhanu, the director.

Leather and leather products earned 32.1 million dollars in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. This amount has increased by 7.3 million dollars compared to the figure for the same period in the previous year.

Source: Fortune

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