As restrictions on imports of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) keeps increasing in the coming years, the government has vouch for adoption environment friendly technologies to preserve the ozone layers.
Through development partners the government is developing a technology roadmap, which proposes for both ozone- and climate-friendly as well as energy-efficient technology options for relevant areas of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC).
One of the partners working with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, German International Cooperation (GIZ), Prokolima, has trained of over 150 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), customs officers and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Officers on the use of the new system and control measures on imports & exports of ozone depleting substances.
Kenya is a signatory to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which aims at protecting the Ozone Layer, the day is mark on every 16th of September to commemorate the coming into force of the protocol.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this day as an International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, with the main aim of sensitizing people on the need to protect the Ozone Layer, an indication that the responsibility of protecting man kind’s heritage is collectively global.
Speaking during the mark of the day, GIZ Prokolima Representative Juliet Cheruto said that even as the government and development partners commit to preservation of the ozone layer, customs officers need to be more and more vigilant of various illegal imports, and members of the public should demand for ozone and environmentally friendly products.
She said that with the help from GIZ, cold storage room for fish has been constructed in Mfangano Island in Homabay County in Lake Victoria. The Fish cold store is a pilot project in cooperation with a Kenyan private investor through co-investment. The cold store has state-of-the-art insulation, highly efficient refrigeration and ice-making appliances that use natural refrigerants that are both Ozone and climate friendly.
GIZ also trained over 700 refrigeration technicians on the safe use of hydrocarbons refrigerants as substitutes to HCFC22 (Commonly known as Freon), done in collaboration with the National Ozone Unit (NOU) within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and training institutions. Amongst them are the Technical University of Kenya, the Technical University of Mombasa, the Nairobi Technical Training Institute, Kisumu Polytechnic, Eldoret Polytechnic, the Mombasa industrial Training Centre among others.
She said that to enhance capacity building and skills development, GIZ has provided Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and tools for trainings to the technical institutions.
Cheruto said that GIZ has also provided officials at the KRA customs department and NEMA with analyzers for identifying refrigerants, thus preventing illegal imports through mislabeling of refrigerants at the ports of entry.
GIZ Proklima is also involved in the phase out of methyl bromide (another ozone depleting substance) whereby more than 700 farmers, engaged in the cut-flower and vegetable cultivation, were trained on adoption of alternative (environmentally friendly) pest control methods to methyl bromide.