The Scrap Metal Industry (SMI) is growing at a faster rate in Kenya and the region than analysts have been predicting.
The growth presents a huge socio-economic potential and indeed the SMI contribution to the national economy cannot be over-emphasized.
The booming manufacturing and construction industry heavily relies on steel structures whose raw materials are either imported steel pellets and or recycled scrap metal. Sale of cement goes hand in hand with steel structures.
Regrettably, scrap metals that are not recycled are typically sent to dumpsites, where congestion and pollution have a real impact on our fragile environment.
Poorly disposed electronics and waste metals leak toxins like lead, mercury, and arsenic into the soil and water supply, harming plants, animals, and humans alike.
If unchecked, soil, water and air pollution are a reality with huge risk to both the environment and human health (carcinogenic). Luckily, these are preventable but would require coordination of efforts and pooling of resources from all stakeholders.
For this reason, the Government of Kenya put in place the Scrap Metal Act, 2015 which inter alia establishes the Scrap Metal Council (SMC), the body in charge of licensing and overseeing operations of the SMI.
Consumer representation on the Council was, therefore, a well-thought-out idea. As COFEK, we are happy to play our central role on the SMC.
In order to deepen the understanding of scrap metal benefits vis-à-vis their impact on the environment and human/livestock health, COFEK has dedicated its’ Consumer Dialogue Forum-58 on this critical subject matter.
The event that will bring together about 80 stakeholders from the SMI, Government, Media, UN agencies and development partners, environmental and health professionals will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in Nairobi
Some of the speakers include Industry Principal Secretary Dr Juma Mukhwana, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) MD Bernard Njiraini, consultant oncologist Dr Gladwell Kiarie and Scrap Metal Council Chairman Francis Mugo.
Others are regional head of external affairs at Safal Group of Companies Jane Ndungo, environment expert Benjamin Langwen and Recycling Manager at Associated Batteries Manufacturers Michael Wanjala.
Scrap dealers, millers and environmentalists are expected at the special forum