Mukwano Group Proactively Working with NEMA
MUKWANO GROUP HAS BEEN PROACTIVELY WORKING WITH NEMA & NEMA APPOINTED AGENTS TO IMPROVE ENVIRONMENTAL & SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Following the abrupt closure of Mukwano Industries operations by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) on May 23, 2012 and the subsequent adverse media coverage, the management would like to set the record straight and make the following clarifi cations:
- Mukwano Industries has been proactively pursuing and implementing environmental and safety management programmes as part of the Group’s Core Values, to continuously improve our processes.All Mukwano companies are subjected to an annual Environmental Audit, as required by law and the Terms of Reference for these audits are submitted to NEMA. All Mukwano Group companies are also ISO 9001-2008 certified.
- An independent audit by a NEMA approved consultant carried out a review on all our boilers and certified that emissions were within the accepted NEMA standards. We made this report by Air Water Earth (AWE) Ltd available to KCCA on April 5, 2012.
- The report indicates that measurements were undertaken on seven boilers fi red by sawdust. The results show that emissions were in compliance with the National Air Quality (Draft) Regulations 2006 with respect to oxides of nitrogen. It further indicated that no oxides of sulphur were detected in the boiler emissions. The report is signed by Engineer Lammeck Kajubi, a registered professional engineer who is also a NEMA registered EIA practitioner and environmental auditor.
- Mukwano Industries, following engagement with NEMA and KCCA from March 7, 2012 had embarked on a systematic programme of improving environmental and safety management in all its operations and especially the raising of chimneys by an extra 15 meters to ensure that there was more efficient diffusion of emissions from the biomass boilers.
- Mukwano Industries informed KCCA about these developments and sought more time to ensure that all the chimneys were raised to adequate height to mitigate emissions. Mukwano explained that this process would be completed by June 2012.
- On May 22, 2012 KCCA offi cials came to Mukwano for what was termed as a routine check in the morning and returned in the late afternoon with a notice to close down the factory on grounds of emission of dark smoke and fumes to the public and discharge of chemical liquid effluent and sewage into a public storm water drainage system.
- It should be noted that this was the first time Mukwano Industries was being served with notice of discharge of chemical liquid effl uent and sewage into a public storm water drainage system, by KCCA. To date no details as to what chemicals Mukwano Industries was purported to be discharging nor specifics of any standards that we were contravening have been availed.
- Investigations later revealed that the raw sewage draining into the Nakivubo Channel near Mukwano was in actual fact coming from the opposite side of the Mukwano factory, which was not in Mukwano’s jurisdiction.
- Mukwano always strives to operate above minimum standards but when a blanket statement about flouting standards is made without guidelines as what standard is being referred to, it becomes difficult to appreciate what to comply with.
- The shutdown of the factory and machines was done in total disregard to manufacturing processes protocol, which require phased switching off, an action that damaged equipment and compromised safety.
- The action resulted in Mukwano Industries incurring loss of revenue in excess of UGX 12 billion and an additional UGX 700 million which will be used to repair damaged machinery and equipment.
- KCCA has a right to carry out its obligations and current efforts in this direction are noted and applauded. It is also necessary in the same breadth for the authority to act responsibly after establishing facts and clearly giving guidelines on areas they feel industries could improve while carrying out their operations.
- Mukwano welcomes constructive engagement, is open to ideas, which explains partly its sustainable growth and is subject to regulation. Its doors are always open and always appreciates authority exercised responsibly and not in a wanton and irresponsible manner. Mukwano would especially appreciate scientific evidence and proof of any allegations made accompanied by industry standards and requirements that should be met so that the company can work with known benchmarks.
- Mukwano Group employs over 6,000 people in its operations and supports over 64,000 farmers in Northern Uganda in ventures that cover manufacturing, transport, agriculture and real estate. It is one of the largest exporters of fast moving consumer goods to the East Africa and Great Lakes Region and is among the top 10 taxpayers in Uganda. With this profi le it cannot shun responsibility and will always be a good corporate citizen.
Plot 30 / P.O. Box 2671 Mukwano Road, Kampala