Hima Cement Factory to control air pollution
Posted Saturday, February 2 2013 at 02:00
Environment. Factory earmarks Shs8 billion to install filtering chamber technology at its old plant.
After years of wrangling with the district authorities over pollution, Hima Cement Factory in Kasese District has set aside Shs8 billion to curb mass emissions.
The dust emitted into the atmosphere has been a major health concern for both communities and environmentalists.
The sky on the Kasese-Fort Portal Road is hazy on a daily basis, with fumes from the factory blanketing Rugendabara Trading Centre and surrounding areas.
It gets worse on a windy day as winds blow the fumes to more than 10kms radius, causing respiratory infections and other illnesses, according to the district health department.
The acting district health officer, Dr Yusuf Baseka, said there is a negative impact that the fumes leave on the people and the environment .
“Cough among the people in the area is high. We have complained for a long time to both Nema and the factory but nothing is being done,” he says
However, Mr David Njoroge, the factory general manager, recently said they will install a bag filter that will significantly reduce the emissions at the old plant because it will convert the existing electrostatic precipitator with the more efficient bag filter technology.
“We have already acquired the funds and materials required for the installation of filtering chamber technology but we are only waiting for the contractor to start up the work,” Mr Njoroge said.
He said they plan to shut down the old factory in April and works would only take one month.
“The plant lost about Shs1 billion of Electrostatic Precipitator due to irregular and poor quality of power supply to the factory that affected the first installation of a gas conditioning chamber,” he added.
However, he said the fumes are harmless to humans.
“Our emissions are harmless but we are doing it to maintain our corporate social responsibility. People around the plant will lose out since limestone that is emitted helps in reduction of acidity in the soils,” Mr Njoroge said.
The shutdown in April, however, will not affect production since they have in stock a lot of clinker that is used to produce cement.