Compliance of major industries in Nakawa and Kampala Central Divisions to national standards for effluent discharge into environment
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In order to improve the economy and create jobs, the government of Uganda wholly supports the establishment and expansion of industries. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) by an Act of Parliament is mandated to monitor all activities that have an effect on the environment. In relation to this obligation, NEMA has overtaken several monitoring visits to various industries and studies by other scholars have shown that most industries do not have proper waste treatment facilities, leading to the discharge of harmful wastes into the environment. This study was undertaken to: (i) establish if industries have appropriate waste treatment facilities (ii) assess the level of compliance of industries to the National Standards for wastewater discharge or assess the effectiveness of waste treatment facilities and (iii) categories the industries according to the extent to which the effluent can pose danger to the environment. Eight industries in Kampala Central and Nakawa divisions were visited and these included; Crown Beverages, Britania Industries, Uganda Fish Packers, Lake Bounty, Ngege, Quality Chemicals, Phenix Logistics, and Uganda Breweries. Samples of wastewater discharged from industries were collected from each industry and analyzed onsite for physical and chemical parameters (pH, EC and TDS) and at the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation laboratory for chemical parameters (BOD and COD) using standard methods for analysis of wastewater. Results showed that two industries out of eight did not have functional Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and those that had, their effectiveness was not up to standard. Industries (Ngege, Uganda Fish Packers, Britania, Lake Bounty, Quality Chemical and Uganda Breweries) had mean pH, EC and TDS that were within the standards for effluent discharge and not significantly different from the standards, but Crown Beverages and Phenix were not complying. EC and TDS for all industries showed a significant difference from the standards. Results further showed that Ngnge, Uganda Fish Packers and Phenix discharged effluent with mean Total Phosphorus (TP) above the effluent discharge standards (10 mg/I). it was also established that apart from Quality Chemicals and Uganda Breweries, the rest of the industries discharge effluent with mean COD above the permitted limit (100 mg/l). The study also showed that with the exception of Quality Chemicals, all other industries discharged effluent with mean BOD above the discharge standard of 50 mg/l. Phenix Logistics, Crown Beverages, Britania and Ngege were ranked highest in discharging effluent with the highest risk of environment pollution while Lake Bounty, Uganda Fish Packers, Uganda Breweries and Quality Chemicals, respectively, discharged effluent with the lowest risk of environmental pollution. Generally, most industries that were involved in the study did not have effective effluent treatment plants in place and therefore, discharge effluents that have the potential to pollute the environment. Intensifying of environmental monitoring visits by NEMA and construction of effective effluent treatment plants by industries is recommended.