Tag Archives: Ghana

Seminar – Helping entrepreneurs provide sustainable sanitation services

Small private providers, from retailers to masons, from public toilet operators to latrine emptying businesses, are of vital importance to medium- and lower-income communities, according to BPD Water & Sanitation [1]. The sanitation sector needs to capitalise on the growing interest in social entrepreneurship and the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ especially in urban areas.

There are numerous resilient private sanitation providers but the majority get limited support or oversight from public bodies, NGOs and others. Changing this requires requires relatively little effort, contends BPD, and would reap many economic, health and environmental benefits.

At the World Water Week in Stockholm, BPD, the Stockholm Environment Institute and WASTE are organising a seminar on “Helping Entrepreneurs Provide Sustainable Sanitation Services” (24 August 2011, 14.00 – 17.00, Room T6). The seminar explores the different markets and incentives for sanitation entrepreneurs from Bolivia, Ghana and Malawi. In discussion with entrepreneurs and organisations/ specialists that support them, this interactive session will engage participants in debate around two key topics: finance and business support. The session will finish with an interactive ‘sanitation marketplace’.

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Ghana: only 0.1% of budget committed to sanitation

In spite of the Government’s pledge to commit 0.5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to sanitation, the 2011 budget made provision for 0.1%, said Executive Secretary of the Coalition of NGOs in water and sanitation (CONIWAS), Mr Benjamin Arthur. Ghana is one of the signatories of the 2008 eThekwini Declaration in which 17 African governments pledged to allocate a minimum of 0.5% of GDP for sanitation and hygiene.

Arthur said despite the government’s 2010 promise to commit 200 million dollars every year towards water and sanitation activities beginning in 2011, this year’s budget did not reflect that commitment.

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US-Ghana team gets Gates Foundation grant to transform human waste into energy

A US-Ghanaian team has been awarded US$ 1.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a biorefinery that will convert fecal sludge to biodiesel and methane.

Prof. Kartik Chandran. Photo: Columbia University

Kartik Chandran, an associate professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia Engineering is leading the team that includes Ashley Murray, founder and director of Waste Enterprisers, and Moses Mensah, a Chemical Engineering professor at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Chandran may involve the Columbia University Engineers without Borders Ghana team, for whom he acts as faculty advisor, as well.

Chandran and his team aim to develop a bioprocess technology to convert the organic compounds present in fecal sludge to biodiesel and methane, two potent sources of energy, and thus convert a waste-processing facility into a biorefinery. The biorefinery will not only be an economical source of fuel, but, by minimizing discharge of fecal sludge into local water bodies, it will also contribute to improved human health and sanitation. Chandran says that potential outcomes of his work will also include integrating the bioprocess technology component into a social enterprise business model that will further promote widespread implementation of this approach and technology across the globe, especially in developing economies.

Earlier Waste Enterprisers conducted an exploratory study, funded by the Gates Foundation, to identify promising fecal sludge reuse and management options for  Greater Accra, Ghana. Their study incorporated  detailed analyses of emerging energy-related reuse options. Waste Enterprisers is one of the partners in a European Water Initiative ERA-NET – SPLASH project on “Faecal Management Enterprises (FaME)” in Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda. One of project activities is to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of using faecal sludge as a fuel in cement manufacturing (and other industrial processes).

Dr. Ashley Murray, founder Waste Enterprisers, Ghana and a 2011 recipient of a National Geographic's Emerging Explorers Program award. Photo: Matthew Muspratt

Since about two years the Gates Foundation has shifted its focus from water and hygiene to sanitation. While the Foundation continues to provide limited funding to promising clean water and hygiene solutions, its main grantmaking will go to three areas: ending open defecation; investment in sanitation tools and technologies; and policy and advocacy.

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Source: Columbia University, 01 Jun 2011

Scientist to Turn Human Waste Into Fertiliser

Ghana – Scientist Wins Support for Plan to Turn Human Waste Into Fertiliser

Accra — A female Ghanaian scientist is one of four researchers from developing countries who received US$100,000 each to pursue their dream ideas for solving global health problems.

Olufunke Cofie, a soil scientist at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research‘s Challenge Program on Water and Food will develop fertiliser pellets from treated human waste to boost agricultural productivity and improve sanitation.

She is one of the latest 88 winners in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s Grand Challenges in Global Health programme, funded through the Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) initiative, which include scientists from Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya and the Philippines.

“Recycling readily available excrement has the potential to both reduce the environmental pollution burden and prolong the lifespan of [waste] treatment plants, while also significantly improving soil productivity,” Cofie told SciDev.Net.

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Cholera epidemic kills 60 in Ghana

WHO says prevention must be stepped up;  Four regions hit, Accra the worst affected

ACCRA, March 18 (Reuters) – A cholera epidemic in Ghana has killed 60 people and infected almost 4,000 since the first cases emerged last September, with 482 new cases reported this week alone, health authorities said on Friday.
The outbreak, which started in centre of the West African country and spread to four regions, has hit the capital Accra the worst, said Joseph Amankwah of the Ghana Health Service.

“This is a major outbreak. It’s a major concern,” he told Reuters by telephone. “Cases are on the increase. … We need to address the risk factors aggressively.”
Ghana has seen outbreaks of the disease roughly every five years since the 1970s, Amankwah said, adding that he believed the origin of the outbreak may be contaminated water sources following flooding last year.

Cholera is a bacterial disease spread by contaminated water and food. If caught early can be easily treated by oral rehydration fluids. If not treated, it can kill in hours.
“I wouldn’t say it’s out of control but it’s alarming so we need to step up preventive efforts,” said Sally Ohene from the World Health Organisation.
The disease has been reported in the Greater Accra, Central, Eastern and Upper Eastern regions.

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WSUP water & sanitation project in Kumasi

 Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), an innovative organisation that brings local and global expertise to deliver water and sanitation services to the urban poor, has interacted with the media in Kumasi, as part of moves to solicit ideas towards solving the problem of water and sanitation in the country.

The project, dubbed the Oforikrom Water and Sanitation (OWAS) project, offers an opportunity for the media to learn at firsthand, some interventions and approaches being used by development partners and Government of Ghana to arrest the appalling water and sanitation situation in the country.

According to the Project Manager, Mr. Issaka Balima Musah, the project was under the African Cities for the Future Project, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Ghana: first National Environmental Sanitation Conference takes place in Kumasi

The government should set up a revolving fund for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) initiatives, in collaboration with Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) and local government. This was one of the recommendations from Ghana’s first National Environmental Sanitation Conference (NESCON).

The conference was held in Kumasi from 8-10 December in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. The theme was “building partnerships for scaling up improved environmental sanitation services”, covering both solid waste management and household sanitation.

The conference presented, among others, highlights of the Environmental Sanitation Policy (Revised 2010), the National Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plan (NESSAP) and the Strategic Environmental Sanitation Investment Plan (SESIP) and District Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plans (DESSAPs).

NESCON 2010 was organised by the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate (EHSD) of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in partnership with Development Partners (DPs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Private Operators and others.

Read the concluding statement and recommendations and all presentations.

Source: Abu Wambei, RCN Ghana, 18 Dec 2010