Improving livelihoods through Waste to Energy Facilities Feasible in Sub-Saharan countries
Alodia William Ishengoma1, Raymond Ategbi Okrofu2
1Independent Consultant and Erstwhile Project Consultant – Safi Sana Ghana Ltd;; 2Safi Sana Ghana Limited, Adjei Kojo Road, Ashaiman,P.O Box CT 8312, Accra,
Many sub-Saharan countries including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania and Uganda have been suffering from inadequate electricity. That is in spite of generating waste abundantly with a possibility of getting energy from such waste. Unfortunately, the waste to energy processes for producing electricity directly through combustion are still far from being realized with a blame put mostly on the type and quality of available waste. However, producing electricity using digestible organic waste to generate biogas has proved to be feasible in Ghana and hence highly recommended for all other sub-Saharan countries. The project is done in a closed-loop approach; and indeed the first of its kind as it is the first grid connected biogas electricity project in West Africa. This paper provides a description of this project implemented by Safi Sana Ghana Limited in collaboration with the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, as well as the need to be replicated at least in needy sub-Saharan countries. In a nutshell, the project is strategically designed and positioned in the entire sanitation value chain; i.e. to push the frontiers of innovation in the sanitation sector. It is undertaken as a “Decentralized Business Model for Sanitation, Bio fertilizer and Energy” in which faecal and organic solid wastes are collected throughout Ashaiman Municipality (in Greater Accra) and treated in an anaerobic digester to yield organic fertilizer, irrigation water and biogas. Subsequently the biogas is used to produce electricity which is fed to the national grid. The irrigation water and part of the organic fertilizer are used for growing seedlings in a green house. These end-products (i.e. electricity, bio-fertilizers, and seedlings) are three income streams that ensure long term sustainability.