A private-public partnership project, called “Accelerating the Adoption of Circular Sanitation Demonstration Systems for Improved Health Outcomes (ACTUATE), has been launched in Accra to support the management of waste into profitable use in Ghana.
The ACTUATE project also aims at generating electricity, sustainable fertilizer and sanitation improvement through the development of anaerobic digestion demonstrator systems in community schools.
The HATOF Foundation, an environmental non-governmental organisation, is partnering the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Industrial Research (CSIR-IRR), and the Lancaster University, United Kingdom, to implement the 18-month project, being funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund through the UK Research and Innovation.
Mr Samuel Dotse, Chief Executive Officer of HATOF Foundation, at the launch on Friday, reiterated the importance of supporting governments’ efforts at managing waste, which had become a major challenge for most countries including Ghana.
He said as the Government found ways of managing the waste being generated in the country daily, the ACTUATE project had come in to support such efforts.
Mr Dotse explained that the Lancaster University was leading the project, which was also being piloted in Nigeria to improve sanitation in West Africa as a whole.
The Community based pilot project involves the establishment of a digester at the Umar Bun Islamic School at Madina in Accra while the Nigerian project was being carried out at a University.
It is hoped to be replicated in other countries.
He said the HATOF Foundation would support cultural and generational changes in thinking and understanding the paradigm of safer circular economy through awareness creation, social mobilisation and environmental campaigns.
Professor Roger Pickup, Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Lancaster University, said the project would use faecal waste to generate energy.
He said he was hopeful that the project would have the needed impact on improving the sanitation levels in communities and reduce waste.
Dr Richard Bayitse, the ACTUTATE Project Coordinator in Ghana, explained that students of the Umar Bun Islamic School would be engaged and trained by the CSIR-IRR, to establish an integrated bio-digester, which would harness solar energy as well as using the faecal waste of the school to generate gas for cooking and other purposes.
He said the new bio-digester would be different from the fixed-dome bio-digester that were buried in the ground adding that it would be a surface bio-digester to be built on the already existing septic tank in the school.
The waste from the digester would be used for agricultural purposes and by the Blue Skies Company.
Mr Oliver Boakye, Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, commended the collaborators for supporting the country’s waste management system.
“This project seeks to demonstrate the way to provide a source of affordable and sustainable electricity for unconnected and hard to reach communities….”
Mr Boakye said proper waste management would not only improve the health of the people, especially in this COVI-19 period, but play a vital role in reducing poverty and generating wealth for the people.