SIALKOT - The Sialkot Tannery Association and UNIDO-GEF jointly organised an awareness workshop on “Combined Effluent Treatment Plant for Sialkot Tannery Zone Project” at the auditorium of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

Director Environment Protection Department Govt. of Punjab Waseem Ahsan Cheema, SCCI Senior Vice President Abdul Waheed, leather goods manufacturers and exporters, representatives of civil society and government officials attended the workshop.

Addressing the participants, Sialkot Tannery Zone Chairman Sarfraz Bhatti hailed the initiative taken by UNIDO-GEF to fight climate change. He also highlighted the pivotal role of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and UNIDO for spearheading the development of leather sector of Pakistan.

He highlighted the efforts of Environment Protection Department Punjab for supporting project activities in realising the common objectives of leather sector development.

Chief Guest Waseem Ahsan Cheema urged all the members to relocate the tannery zone with world class effluent treatment facility. He pledged his full support and cooperation for the project.

The project director said that purpose of the workshop was to help tanners, tannery managers and other direct/indirect stakeholders to keep abreast of the basic principles and methods of tannery effluent treatment and to describe that the design of effluent treatment plant (ETP) is always tailored to the requirements of a specific site.

During the workshop, the consultant NEC from Karachi presented detailed process designed to ask stakeholders at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on developing better understanding of CETP including modular approached with expected pollution load and operating cost. The main objective of the workshop was to share the update status of CETP and process efficiency of the plant.

He said that the proposed CETP plant would be the first one in Pakistan for leather sector heaving separate Sulphide Oxidation as Primary treatment and utilisation of heavy metal for Sludge for Agriculture. He said it would help the tanners in Leather Working Group (LWG) boost leather export. On the occasion, experter Shujauddin Siddiqui elaborated chromium management in the Sialkot tanneries, which causes environmental pollution and presented the ways by which Effluent of chrome is re-usable.

The workshop also provided a platform for discussing problems, new ideas and concepts related to treatment plant. The workshop facilitated in building local capacity with regard to understanding of CETP, its provided a platform for collection of information on making final comments and identification of gaps. Furthermore, the confidence of stakeholders will be enhanced with the project which is is progressing towards its completion, he added.

The participants actively participated in the event and raised several pertinent technical questions. In brief, the session identified the potential areas of the awareness about climate change mitigation with clear indication of needed sector specific intervention.