Addis Ababa — Factories causing environmental pollution in Oromia Regional State were urged to promptly mend their ways and operate as per the set standards.
Officials of the region who visited factories in good standing conducted a half-day discussion with factories in the region on issues of environment protection today.
In the discussion held at Adama, Oromia Agriculture Cluster Coordinator with Rank of Vice President Girma Amente called on factory owners that are not respecting regulations on environmental protection to rectify their mistakes.
He said dangerous situations have been observed in some factories during various field observations and studies.
The region has closed 22 factories, gave last warning to 59, and first warning to about 155 factories in connection with their failure to protect the environment from pollution, it was learned.
"Protecting the environment should be our priority while investing in the development of the country," Girma underscored.
Environment Protection, Forest and Climate Change Authority Director-General, Negeri Lencho said on his part the government is striving to work closely with investors rather than punishing them.
But some have failed to play their role in ensuring the protection of the environment in their respective plants, he noted.
Negeri further called on investors to improve their cooperation with the government. "We need to cooperate with you because we understand that punishment is not a good method to teach."
Ethiopian Environment Protection, Forest and Climate Change Commissioner, Fikadu Beyene said starting this kind of discussion with investors is a good practice.
"The federal government takes this kind of open discussion as a good move, because we will narrow down our gaps by establishing common ground, " the commissioner stated.
Some factory owners on their part urged the government to give attention to capacity building and set the exact role of factories in the process of environmental protection before jumping to punishment.
To express its respect for investors with progressive environmental protection, Oromia Regional State has awarded certificates for 17 companies that performed well in terms of protecting the environment in their respective locations.