Regulation and policy incentives for innovations in industrial effluents management in Ethiopia
Regulation and policy incentives for
innovations in industrial effluents
management in Ethiopia
Emmanuel Malifu, AAU
Bio-innovate Regional Experts Workshop on Industrial
Effluents Management in East Africa
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 19-20 May 2014
Ethiopia Broad Brushed
• Ethiopia’s land area: 1,126,829 km2 (435,071 m2), 27th largest country
• Population: 33.5 m (1983) -> 93.8 m (2013), from 9 m (19th Century)
• Over 80% - rural-based, eking a living from backward agriculture
• Addis Ababa: capital city, the only megacity - 3,041,002 (2012)
• Agriculture: 41% of GDP; 80% of export; >80% of labor force; mainstay of
the economy, occasioning other economic activities
• Nominal GDP (2012): USD 41.9 billion; per capita: USD 513
• Gini and HDI indices (2011) - 33.6 (i.e. medium) and 0.396 (173rd or low),
• Land degradation rife <-> deforestation/erosion most conspicuous
• Forest area = 420,000 km² or 35% of land area (beginning 20th Century)
• Recent estimate = 11.9%
• Pollution: glowing salient by the day in urban settlements
ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS IN ETHIOPIA
Hierarchy of Laws:
• Constitution (Constituent assembly)
• Proclamation (Parliament)
• Regulations (Minister of Councils)
• Directives (Regulatory body, e.g. ministries)
• Four constitutions since 1930
• First two (1931 & 1955) had nothing on Environment
• Constitution of 1985 (Art 10)
• The state shall ensure:
• ecological balance through conservation and development of
natural resources (sub-article 1)
• human settlement patterns correspond to distribution of natural
• Present constitution (1995) - came out with a number
of provisions informing environmental governance
FDRE’s Constitution (1)
Article 43 - Rights to Development
The Peoples of Ethiopia …have the right to improved living
standards and to sustainable development (Sub-article 1).
Article 44 - Environmental right
All persons have the right to a clean and healthy
environment (Sub-article 1).
Article 91 - Cultural Objectives
Government and all Ethiopian citizens shall have the duty to
protect the country’s natural endowment, historical sites and
objects (Sub-article 2).
FDRE’s Constitution (2)
Article 92 - Environmental Objectives
• Government shall endeavor to ensure that all Ethiopians live in
a clean and healthy environment (Sub-article 1).
• The design and implementation of programs and projects of
development shall not damage or destroy the environment
• People have the right to full consultation and to the expression
of views in the planning and implementation of environmental
policies and projects that affect them directly (Sub-article 3).
• Government and citizens shall have the duty to protect the
environment (Sub-article 4).
SUBSIDIARY LEGAL INSTRUMENTS (1)
• The Ethiopian legal system - characterized
by hierarchy of laws
• The constitution as fundamental law of the
land sires subsidiary legislations
• Subsidiary legislation, in turn, flesh
• The three classes of subsidiary instruments
with decreasing sway: proclamations,
regulations and directives
SUBSIDIARY LEGAL INSTRUMENTS (2)
• Making of regulatory instruments in Ethiopia has
mostly been an exercise in the accretion of
• Proclamations usually spell out four major
– Establishment of organizational structure;
– Building of knowledge base;
– Placement of preventive and corrective measures,
– Erection of compliance scheme.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ORGANS
ESTABLISHMENT PROCLAMATION NO. 295/2002
• This proclamation has been bolstered and/or modified by
Proclamation No. 803/2013 that upgraded EPA to MoEF.
• It has a welter of provisions promoting environmental protection
with predilection to institutional structure, powers and duties.
• MoEF is to “Propose incentives or disincentives to discourage
practices that may hamper …prevention of environmental
degradation or pollution (Sub-article 12);
• “In accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws” MoEF is
empowered to “enter any land, premise or any other place,
…inspect anything and take samples” … to ascertain “compliance
with environmental protection requirements (Sub-article 15)”;
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION CONTROL
PROCLAMATION NO. 300/2002 (1)
• This is a piece elaborating dos and don’ts that make
sure constitutionally enshrined right “[A]ll persons
have the right to a clean and healthy environment” is
• Primarily, it is the Ministry (i.e. MoEF) and its regional
environmental equivalents that are responsible for its
• Provides ‘Environmental Standing’ (Article 17)
empowering everyone to contest and intervene or
environmental control practices.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION CONTROL
PROCLAMATION NO. 300/2002 (2)
The Preamble provides the underlying philosophy informing
both the points of departure and arrival of the legislation.
• Some social and economic development endeavors may
inflict environmental harm making endeavors counter-
• Protection of the environment, in general, and safeguarding
human health and well being, as well as maintaining biota
and the aesthetic value of nature, in particular, are the duty
and responsibility of all.
• It is appropriate to eliminate or …mitigate pollution as an
undesirable consequence of social and economic activities.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION CONTROL
PROCLAMATION NO. 300/2002 (3)
Article 6 provides for Environmental Standards which
could vary from case to case.
The Powers and Duties of Inspectors are spelled out in
Article 8, Sub-article 1:
(a) Ensure compliance with environmental standards …;
(b) … enter any land or premises at any time …without
prior notice or court order;
(e) Take, free of charge, samples of any material as
required and carry out … tests to determine …harm to
the environment or to life;
(g) Seize any equipment or any other object …believed
to have been used in the commission of an offence ...
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION CONTROL
PROCLAMATION NO. 300/2002 (4)
• Cardinal prohibition: “[N]o person shall pollute or cause any
other person to pollute the environment by violating the
relevant environmental standard (Article 3 Sub-article 1).”
• The Proclamation lists Punitive Measures to be meted in case
of contravention. Generally, these consist of:
– Fines, ranging from Birr 5,000 to Birr 20,000;
– Incarceration, mostly between less than 1 year to 10 years; or
• Offences against polluters, for instance, consist of:
– Natural person, between Birr 1,000 and 5,000 and/or imprisonment
of between 1 and ten years;
– juridical person, between Birr 5,000 and 25,000, and the officer in
charge, between Birr 5,000 and 10,000 and/or imprisonment of
between 5 to 10 years.
PUBLIC HEALTH PROCLAMATION NO. 200/2000
The Proclamation confers on MoH powers to regulate matters
pertaining to public health.
• Article 8 provides for Food Quality Control prohibiting
preparation, import, distribution, or making available to
consumers any food which is unhygienic, contaminated,
unwholesome or mislabeled.
• Prohibits such activities as polluting water bodies and the
disposal of waste whether liquid or solid.
• Article 12 provides what may be required of those handling
waste and its disposal:
– No person shall dispose solid, liquid or any other waste in a manner
which contaminates the environment or affects the health of society
• Article 20 lists penalties; Sub-article 2 punishes any person who
disposes waste with simple imprisonment ranging from 3
months to 3 years and fine from Birr 1,000 to 9,000.
CRIMINAL CODE OF FDRE, PROCLAMATION NO. 414/2004
The purpose of Criminal Codes is to ensure order, peace and the security of
the state, its peoples and inhabitants for the public good.
It achieves these by listing prohibitions of commissions or omissions, the
infringement of which entails the wrath of the state.
Article 517 spells out wrongdoings and penalties they may entail in case of
Contamination of Water:
– Intentional contamination of drinking water, serving the needs of man or
animals, enlists fine or simple imprisonment for not less than one month, or,
in more serious cases, with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding seven
years (sub-article 1);
Article 519’s concern is Environmental Pollution. Its first sub-article punishes
whoever, in breach of the relevant law, discharges pollutants into the
environment, with fine not exceeding ten thousand Birr, or with rigorous
imprisonment not exceeding five years.
As per Article 521, acts contrary to EIA involve, in the case of implementing
a project without obtaining an EIA or when one makes false statements
…, are punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION PREVENTION AND
CONTROL REGULATIONS, REGULATIONS NO. 159/2009 (1)
• This is the only environmental regulations enacted by the executive.
• It facilitates the implementation of the two major proclamations
ministering to environmental protection (ECPC & EIA).
• Article 5 professes that a licensing agency can grant operational license
to industrial enterprises only when the latter can produce written
consent from the relevant environmental agency testifying that the
effluents they release into the ambient environment are not exceeding
the limits set in the relevant environmental standard (Sub-article 1).
• Article 6 spells out the need and requirement to resort to best available
techniques in the prevention, mitigation or disposal of pollutants.
• The need, amount and the circumstance in which incentives are to be
granted is the concern of Article 10 of the Regulation.
• Incentives consist of increase in depreciation allowance (30% and 15%
depending on pollution reduced) and a waiver of taxes when acquiring
equipment or plant for treatment and spare parts thereof.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION PREVENTION AND
CONTROL REGULATIONS, REGULATIONS NO. 159/2009 (2)
• Article 15 arms competent environmental agencies
with the power to slap administrative measures on
miscreants contravening the proclamation.
• Article 19 grants waiver or exemption in enforcement
of environmental laws for a duration of 5 years, a
period that unwittingly expired only last November.
• All industrial enterprises, whether existing or new, to
this day are basking in the self same environment
where the enforcement of provisions on pollution
control is on indefinite hold.
THE ETHIOPIAN POLLUTION SCENE (1)
• Present day Ethiopia can be said to be endowed with
good and almost complete environmental laws.
• This, however, cannot be said when it comes to their
• It’s small wonder to find many enterprises spewing
their waste, sometimes hazardous, into the ambient
environment without any attempt to treat them.
• In fact, they do this with impunity, since, in actual
fact, there are no liabilities (administrative, civil or
criminal) attached to these actions of theirs, now or
THE ETHIOPIAN POLLUTION SCENE (2)
• On the other hand, there are industrial establishments that
release their wastewaters after subjecting them to
• Of the nineteen textiles industries functional in the country,
seventeen of them make use of treatment plants.
• There are also tanneries employing adequate treatment
plants and incurring (unwarranted?) cost for doing so.
• Presently, a project is on the offing with the objective of
forming a tannery cluster in Modjo town (i.e. Modjo
Leather City (MLC)) out of the tanneries either already
operational or under construction in Addis Ababa and its
surrounding, as well as tanneries in Modjo.
MODJO LEATHER CITY
• MLC’s land area of = 1,000,000 m2
• It is a project that is being implemented by the Ethiopian Leather
Industry Development Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of
Industry in pursuit of the GTP.
• It is to be equipped with a common effluent treatment plant,
complete with chrome recovery and an engineering landfill.
• MLC, in its first phase, is to accommodate a total of nineteen
tanneries of which seven are from Addis Ababa and environs.
• MLC is also envisaged to lend the national leather industry with
additional competiveness in the international market by providing
the tanneries involved an economy of scale, besides the recovery
and reuse of such important tannery but harmful inputs as chrome.
• The 17 operational tanneries to partake in the MLC between them
consume daily approximately 10,000kg of chrome.
Modjo Modern Export Abattoir
There is in Modjo town, i.e. Modjo Modern
Export Abattoir that has an effluent treatment
plant that is producing biogas and bio-fertilizer
from it’s wastewater.
Perhaps this is the only enterprise in the country
at present making use of modern equipment
in waste treatment that allows it to add value
to its waste, enabling it to recover by-
• Enforce environmental laws and policies of the country strictly and
commit sufficient budget, manpower (e.g. environmental inspectors),
institutions, facilities and equipment along with due policy commitment to
• Avoid overlaps, institutional turf protection (as against common purpose
and camaraderie) and, above all, fill salient gaps.
• If the discharge standard is still on draft stage, finalize and apply it; if it is
finalized, see to it that it is adequately implemented/adhered to.
• In the spirit of the green development strategy that Ethiopia has recently
embarked upon, the relevant bodies have to consider emerging
technologies and innovations that not only treat industrial effluent for safe
disposal, but also convert them into useful by-products.
• Spawn research that promotes as well as facilitates the domestication or
adoption of wastewater treatment technologies with focus on emerging
technologies and innovations.
• Replace chemical fertilizers by bio-fertilizers as the former are mostly
inaccessible, environmental unsound and economically exacting.