PM intercedes on tanneries’ behalf
Following intercession by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, six tanneries shut down for flouting environmental standards resumed operation on Wednesday, The Reporter has learnt.
Batu Tannery, Elico Awash, Walia Leather and Leather Products, Dire Industries, Addis Ababa Tannery, and New Wing Addis Shoe Factory were all ordered to cease operation by the Addis Ababa City Administration’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for repeatedly failing to treat their effluent discharges.
These plants had been instructed to install both primary and secondary effluent treatment facilities a number of times. Even though several deadlines set for complying with the city’s edicts have come and gone, the tanneries and factories have so far failed to invest in the requisite discharge-treatment technologies, leading to their closure, short-lived though it was.
There are some 30 tanneries and leather factories that, by their very nature, apply chemicals such as chrome and heavy metals during processing. EPA regulations dictate that these plants treat their waste before discharge.
Sources told The Reporter that all tanneries and leather factories have now committed to install the required treatment plants within the coming six months.
A letter the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA) wrote to the Ministry of Industry (and believed to have reached the PM office) states that all plants will be installing treatment facilities within six months’ time.
ELIA vowed to take swift measures against non-complying parties.