Ghanaian firm introduces scientific approach to liquid waste management

Increased population growth and rapid urbanization have resulted in increased generation of volumes of both solid and liquid waste in the cities.

According to the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) World Bank-funded sanitation and water project, 26, 000 cubic meters of waste is generated in Ghana’s national capital Accra per day.

To help solve this challenge in Accra, Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, a waste management company, has put up a Septage tank treatment plant, the Lavender Hill, and Mudor Fecal Treatment Plant, in Accra to ensure proper and efficient sewerage disposal.

The 40 million U.S. dollars ultra-modern plant, constructed by experts from China’s Nanjing Wonder Environment Technology Company, has the capacity to receive 80 percent of the entire human waste generated in Accra.

It is currently receiving between 200 and 250 trucks of human waste daily and has been designed by the Chinese experts for a lifespan of 20 years.

Prior to its construction in 2013 and commissioning in 2016, the city practiced primitive method of disposing of fecal waste where cesspit emptiers are directly emptied into the ocean, posing both health and environmental problems.

“Before we started our operations, liquid waste for almost 100 years was being discharged into the ocean just across the street here without any form of treatment but the Jospong Group found it expedient to put up a plant that will treat the liquid waste before discharging to the ocean,” Florence Cobold, General Manager of the company, told Xinhua in an interview.

The plant, first of its kind in the sub-region, consists of a primary treatment stage which includes screening, primary settling, raw Septage and sludge dewatering.

A secondary treatment stage includes anaerobic digestion (UASB), anoxic-oxic digestion and secondary setting while a tertiary treatment phase comprise of ultra violet disinfection; biogas utilization, digested sludge dewatering.

The plant also comprises of a modern laboratory which tests both the influent and the effluent qualities of waste water. The final effluent is pumped back into the system for reuse in the plant.

The solid materials generated through the system are used for compost manure while the biogas generated is harnessed and used as a source of alternative energy for the plants.

The Lavender Hill and Mudor Fecal Treatment Plant which is using Chinese technology has been enjoying high patronage since its full operation early this year.

Lola Asiseh Ashitey, the Business Development Manager of the SSGL, said her outfit was excited by the kind of work it does because it is a serious project that saves lives.

“We are encouraging people to make sure that when their fecal sludge is dislodged from their homes it is sent to the right place for treatment so that we can live in a healthier community,” she said. Enditem

GAMA sanitation project trains 20 journalists

The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and water project in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, earlier this month organized a three-day training programme for some 20 journalists across the various media houses in the country.

The three-day intensive and residential training was held at the International Student’s Guest Centre at Abokobi in Accra.

The focus of the training programme was to equip Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) journalists to support, sensitize and communicate sanitation to the general public.

The training touched on areas such as the various definitions of sanitation, the relationship between sanitation and national development, the effect of sanitation on the individual and the community, the relationship between bad practices such as open defecation and national development, and applying one’s knowledge of sanitation in reporting to influence attitudinal change

Tsekpetse Akuamoah Kweku, one of the training instructors and a senior environmental technologist, said, “…the idea behind this training is that we know that as journalists when you pick up any issue you are able to move it beyond what government and individuals can do. So the idea is to train journalists on the new trends and development issues so they can have a better understanding of the issues to report better.”

The training sessions urged journalists to focus on encouraging attitudinal change and inspire action rather than merely relaying information to their audience.

According to a participant of the training, Godfred Sey, the Editor for Rainbow Radio, “we have always done environmental stories but this program has really helped me to see another angle because many at times we write stories and the impact is far less. But it has improved my angle of looking at certain ways of making people listen to my stories and then decide on their own to change their attitudes without anyone necessarily picking up a cane after them.”

Another participant Selorm Amenya, a reporter from TV3 also said, “its been a very good training and the fact that most of the stories we do at times have a certain focus; there is rubbish here or there, the conditions In our cities are not good and we always want to put the fire on government because we want to keep it on its toes.”

The GAMA Sanitation and water project is a project sponsored by the World Bank under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to help lower income level communities have access to affordable toilet and water facilities.

Cost Involved In GAMA Toilet Facility Reduced To GHC1,100

The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area – Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) has launched a reduction package for the construction of a toilet facility for households at GH¢1,100 to make it more affordable to communities.

The cost of the provision of the facility was previously GH¢2,000.

The project is being sponsored by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource (MSWR) in collaboration with the World Bank, which has provided 150 million dollars grant to help curb open defecation and improve sanitation and water supply.

It was aimed at supporting low income urban communities in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region to have access to improved sanitation and water supply.

Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, who launched the package, said effective and sustainable water supply and its related sanitation services in the metropolis are important to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

He said such improved toilets would improve the sanitation situation and urged the people to take advantage of the GAMA-SWP to save costs in visiting public toilets.

Mr Adjei Sowah said a monitoring Taskforce of the AMA Environmental Health Officers has been directed to ensure that residents without toilet facility register with accredited contractors to get a household toilet and that those who fail to do so would be arrested and prosecuted.

He said the AMA and the MSWR are embarking on a vigorous public health campaign to ensure that residents in Accra get new affordable toilets to prevent open defecation and the outbreak of diseases.

The MCE said it is time residents become responsible by ensuring a clean environment.

Mr Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey, the Ablekuma Central Member of Parliament, called for more commitment from the people to ensure compliance in getting a household toilet in their individual homes.

He promised paying half of the cost of the provision of the toilet to the first 100 households who would register with the contractors for the construction of the facility in their homes.