Impacts of Effluent Discharge from Kapkoros Tea Factory into Kipsonoi River on the Local Community of Bomet County, Kenya
Tonui, Paul Kipkemoi
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Agro-industrial industries are among of the major contributors of industrial effluent. Poor management of these effluents has resulted in myriad challenges to developing countries on environment and human health. The research was conducted in Bomet County of Kenya. The study sought to assess the impacts of effluent discharge from Kapkoros Tea Factory into Kipsonoi River on the local community. The objectives were: to identify types of wastes generated by the Kapkoros Tea Factory, to assess the effectiveness of waste management and disposal mechanisms practiced by the factory, to examine the effects of Kapkoros Tea Factory effluent discharge into River Kipsonoi on the surrounding communities and to propose the mitigation measures to help curb the impacts of the factory effluent discharged into the river. The study used a descriptive survey design and a sample of 363 respondents was selected using random simple sampling. The data collected using the constructed questionnaires were well organized and analyzed using SPSS program. The findings revealed that the Kapkoros Tea Factory produces solid (from offloading bay, withering, processing, firing, sorting and packaging of tea), liquid (from the major and minor cleaning processes in the factory during tea processing) and thermal wastes (from various heat losses that occur such as loss of heat due to hydrogen) and the surrounding communities are vulnerable to various diseases such as typhoid and cholera. From the findings 80% of the interviewed respondents indicated that there were no proper waste management systems put in place by the factory managers. Additionally, 75% indicated that River Kapsonoi is polluted with effluents finding its way to the river. From the results, there were no proper waste management in the factory and the employees together with surrounding community were for the idea that any waste needs to be treated before discharging from the factory. In conclusion, Kapkoros Tea Factory produces solid, liquid, and thermal wastes. There were no proper waste management systems put in place by the factory managers and proper waste management in the factory was lacking. The study therefore recommended that Kapkoros Tea Factory proprietors should not only adopt modern effluent management and disposal techniques before discharging but also train its farmers on farming practices with minimal chemical application. Tree planting is a major requirement by everybody as well as having created wetlands that can be used for waste water treatment before discharging. The government should enforce policies and laws on environmental pollution control so as to protect biodiversity from all possible negative externalities emanating from pollution. The government also needs to create awareness on environmental pollution such as water pollution and its adverse effect to the environment. There is need for the frequent water testing especially that of Kipsonoi River. Finally, the community of different ages especially those nearing the River ought to be working closely with public health and the water officers so that they universally adopt water treatment mechanisms. There is room for more research in this area especially assessing the relationship between effluence discharged, pollution and cancer.