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Ethiopia: Heineken Establishes Largest Water Treatment Plant Kilinto Town

Ethiopia: Heineken Establishes Largest Water Treatment Plant Kilinto Town

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Just a month ago, the Amharic daily Addis Zemen published a news story, which carried public complaints on claims of possible environmental pollution due to ‘liquid waste’ released from Heineken Breweries Share Company’s largest beer plant located at Kilinto.

Public residing around the Heineken Ethiopia’s plant claimed the said bad smell exuding from the liquid waste affected both the environs and their cattle, according to the news.

The local administration refuted the claim saying the problem has eased over time, during a field visit the company organized fortnights later. The event brought together media professionals, environmental authority and local administration representatives where they witnessed firsthand the water treatment plant constructed at a cost of 176 million Birr.

At the event, Heineken Ethiopia’s General Manager Anteneh Mitiku said that the company allocated huge sum to the proper disposal of solid and water waste as it boosted production.

He further added that the brewery aims to install sustainable waste treatment system in line with international standards while the company saves 3.5 million Birr every year from bio-gas that uses the company’s waste.

The Ethiopian Herald approached the manger to respond to complaints. He said there have been wrong assumptions related to factory’s waste disposals among the public. The company attaches due priority to safety first, he said, noting that even the liquid waste has no any harm as the production process avoids any toxic chemicals.

The liquid waste can even be used for agricultural activities and the company will look forward to working with any interested group that has intentions of utilizing such byproduct, according to him.

The liquid waste goes through different examination and verification process before disposal said Anteneh, adding that the treatment plant operates round the clock and is equipped with the required facility despite high costs. Other than creating jobs, the company has also bought different equipment worth 800,000 Birr for nearby Edirs (communal associations) found in the locality.

Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Authority Environmental Awareness and Pollution Team Coordinator Lemesa Gudeta noted that the company is discharging its waste properly in line with the regulations stipulated by the authority.

According to Lemesa, the water treatment plant does not only meet national standards but also keeps international principles as far as waste discharging process is concerned. “The liquid waste is not something hazardous and does not bring any impact on the environment.”

Woreda Administration Chief Hailu Getu for his part confirmed that the administration was pushing Heineken to construct water treatment plant and held discussion with Heineken Ethiopia to make sure that its liquid waste does not harm the local community. Taking immediate measure, the company built modern and standard water treatment plant.

Industry Ministry Food, Beverage, and Pharmaceutical Development Institute representative Aklilu Kefyalew also said that the waste treatment plant fits to its production size. What is remaining is to make use of the waste for developmental activities. To do so, the company should closely work with the nearby community and find ways of collaboration, he added.

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