At least 73 tons of contaminated cereals from the Mukumu Girls High School tragedy were this weekend destroyed at Bamburi Cement Plc’s Mombasa plant.
The condemned cereal, 446 bags of maize, 284 bags of beans, and 86 bags of rice were destroyed in the plant in response to a court order and at the request of the Ministry of Interior and National Administration for professional incineration.
Bamburi Cement co-processed the condemned grains in its kilns for the benefit of the people. This is accomplished through mixing it with other fuels, thereby lowering the company’s consumption of fossil fuels as part of the company’s sustainability pillar, Circular Economy, which focuses on converting waste into energy. This also minimizes CO2 emissions.
Commenting on the exercise, Bamburi Cement’s Geocycle Director Jane Wangari stated that the plant’s kiln infrastructure was endorsed by the government agencies as the fastest and most secure choice, capable of destroying the condemned cargo within the next 48 hours compared to roughly two months for other options within the Western region.
“We are honored to have been a part of a solution that succeeded in eliminating the threats posed to our fellow Kenyans by minimizing waste and converting it into energy. Bamburi Cement aspires to continue leading the way in reducing fuel and process emissions by moving away from fossil fuels towards a clean, circular economy for both government and commercial enterprises,” said Ms. Wangari.
Following the deaths of three pupils and a teacher at Mukumu Girls, the bacteria-contaminated cargo was ruled unsafe for human consumption. The exercise at the Mombasa Plant was witnessed by representatives from the Ministry of Interior and National Government Coordination, the Ministry of Health, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the County Government of Kakamega, school heads, parents, and other stakeholders.
Bamburi Cement, in collaboration with the public and international development sectors, has been at the forefront of addressing environmental and CO2 emissions reduction challenges through the available infrastructure in Bamburi Cement. It has previously worked with major multi-agency teams such as the United Nations World Food Program, Kenya Ports Authorities, the Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the Kenya Revenue Authority to dispose of over 5,000 tons of poisoned grains and counterfeit products imported into the country at its Mombasa Plant.
Over the last ten years, the company has co-processed over 200,000 tons of waste, with an annual capacity of around 25,000 tons and with a target to do more moving forward.