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A new initiative by Wollo University, Kombolcha Institute of Technology (KiOT) and volunteers from the American Peace Corps and British Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) is working to provide assistance to in Kombolcha area, a key industry zone.
The initiative called “Kombolcha Industries Round Table” held its first discussion session in October 2013.
“The initiative puts the industry at the center and brings together those in the sector for experience sharing and for technological transfer. During our last session as well as the second round table discussion we had on the 13th of February, the main area of discussion has been on how the industries can function without polluting the environment,” said Gosaye Sisay, Head of University-Industry linkage office, Wollo University, Kombolcha Institute of Technology.
He also stated that the university has seen a number of organizations and businesses in Kombolcha making strides in improving their environmental practices with Kombolcha Textile Share Company (KTSC) leading the way.
Kombolcha Textile has already implemented ISO 14001, after the discussions.
The ISO 14001 addresses various aspects of environmental management. It provides practical tools for companies and organizations looking to identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve their environmental performance.
“We are helping these industries to implement the ISO 14001 because it can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved. The issue of environment is now a legal matter and companies are bound by the law to pay attention to the impact their work is having on the environment,” Gosaye said.
During the discussion session held in February, a drafted group charter was agreed on by the members, which sets out the formal aims and objectives of the group, as well as the rules of involvement. This charter includes issues related to confidentiality, which allows for members to openly discuss issues in an effort to make improvements and not be subjected to criticism for their participation.
The meeting ended with a statement by the Mayor of Kombolcha, Abere Abera, who has given the initiative his full support, and will host the next meeting in May this year.