Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The West Kenyan Sugar Experience


Sugar is a big commodity in Kenya. The country consumes so much, that although though they produce vast amounts, they still import sugar into the country to meet demands. It’s an on going joke that Coca Cola put more sugar in their Kenyan bottles then they do for any other market. I came to believe this when I visited the West Kenyan Sugar Factory in Kakamega, Kenya.

Being the second biggest the Western Province, The West Kenyan Sugar Factory, processes sugar for the surrounding area of Kakamenga, which only has a population of about 500,000. For this, they have to produce 2,500 tons of sugar a day, employ 900 members of staff and support 53,000 farmers.

The huge factory spreads out over 15 acres of land and lies amongst some of the Western Provinces most stunning scenery. This doesn't spoil the natural beauty of the area, but instead offers a stark difference, showing off the area’s industrial might. The smell of molasses in the air and the glisten of soft brown sugar everywhere can dazzle the senses. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the colossal stainless steel structures that make up the factory. The enormous factory not only churns out masses of sugar, it literally runs on the sweet stuff too!

All this raw cane can will be processed in 1hr
Hot seam escaping from cooling down machinery. Bagasse in the background,
the by product of cane used as fertiliser and to power the machinery. 



The pipes that carry raw cane juice to be processed into sugar

The factory produces 2,500 tons of sugar a day. These bags each weigh 50kg and are ready to be dispatched and feed Kakamega's sugar addiction. 

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