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The Ministry of Industry plan to construct a leather tannery village on 100 hectares of plot in Mojo town still remained impractical due to lack of finance to commence the construction.
The ministry has already finalized a feasibility study of the first phase of the construction which needs USD 58 million. So far, the government has not been able to secure the money. The village was designed one and half year ago with the aim of concentrating leather factories in Mojo town because of the high impact the factories exert on the environment and on humans. According to the design, the new village will encompass 20 leather factories with a common waste treatment plant to minimize hazard on the environment.
The ministry had set up a time frame to relocate the leather factories between three to five years.
Birhanu Serjabbo, Public Relation Head of Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) told Capital that the new village will be fitted with all the necessary machines needed to process any kind of leather product.
The village will also have various work units ranging from animal skin store to a final product processing unit.
“Some interested partners like the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and French Development Agency (AFD) has showed their willingness to assist us and I hope the construction will begin in a short time,” Birhanu spoke of the prospect. Currently the country has 32 leather tanneries.
Health problems associated with the use of toxic groundwater affect people who reside in the surrounding of tanneries in Ethiopia. Yetnayet Melkamu who lives near Dire Leather Industry in Asko said, “the factory doesn’t treat the waste water it discharges. The odor of the waste water that flows parallel to my home causes me to be affected by Asthma.”
The tanneries defended that putting up a treatment plant is very expensive, however, they currently use chemical that will reduce toxic level of the wastage. Birhanu commented “we know that the toxic levels of the wastage the factories release does not meet the standard although they are using chemicals to treat the waste water.”
The common waste treatment plant that will be built by the Industry Ministry at the Mojo Leather village can be used by 20 tanneries and this could encourage leather factories to move to Mojo hub according to Birhanu.