Arusha — UNIVERSITY of Dar es Salaam and Arusha-based Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology's joint research project has come up with hybrid technological solutions to manage industrial liquid waste as well as provide clean bio-fuel to run machinery.
Communication, Science and Technology Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa has inaugurated the innovative project at Banana Investments Limited (BIL) Winery plant in Kijenge-Mwanama section of Arusha City.
He lauded the institutes of higher learning for pioneering combined research projects that do not end up in papers but proceed to yield tangible solutions to current problems.
"Good research projects have always been accomplished through mutual cooperation between different institutions," stated Prof Mbarawa adding that the project at BIL can purify and recycle over 100 cubic litres of waste water that can be re-used for irrigation.
The water is also safe enough to be discharged into the river. The Bio-Innovate project 5 on 'Integrated Process for Sustainable Agro-process Waste Treatment and Climate Change Mitigation in eastern Africa' was executed under Professor Karoli Njau from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NMAIST) in Arusha and Prof Cuthbert Kimambo of UDSM.
It was supported by the NGOs Agenda for Environment and Responsible Development, the WWS Design and Development Company and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and ENVICON through the Bio-Innovate Programme.
"Recognizing the challenges in managing waste water from a bust factory like breweries plants we designed and constructed an innovate wastewater management technology for Banana Investment Limited which is a banana alcoholic beverages producer based in Arusha," said Prof Njau.
He was on view that while the government has reserved special zones for industries to start and expand many factories face encroachment from people building residential houses or establishing farms near them.
This has reduced expansion land especially when it comes to constructing wastewater facilities. Constant conflicts between people and these industries have become common.
"It has always been our biggest headache on how to dispose waste water from the factory because for every 100 litres of wine being produced there are 40 litres of waste liquid being discarded," explained Mr Adolf Ulomi, the Managing Director of Banana Investments.
The factory, according to him, yields 80,000 litres of waste water on daily basis. The Integrated Process for Sustainable Agro-process Waste Treatment for industrial effluents has thus solved the problem at Banana breweries by building an equalization tank, a clarifier, two tanks including one for screening, a bio-digester and slud drying bed.
The company started in 1993 and has experienced remarkable growth to produce several alcoholic beverages in its product line.
The company's industrial processes generate a lot of wastewater and this posed a big challenge on how to safely dispose of this effluent.
This problem was further aggravated by the fact that the company is located in a residential area with no sewer system. Before Bio-Innovate's intervention, the wastewater disposal system then was outdated and recycling was impossible.