A bio digester system under the auspices of the ACTUATE Project was yesterday commissioned at the Umar Bun Hatab Basic School in Madina West of the La Nkwantanang – Madina Municipal Assembly.
The Co-Investigator of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. Richard Bayitse in his speech said the bio digester is the first of its kind in Ghana and gave the background of how the project came to be.
“it is very insightful to let you know that, the bio gas system that we are seeing there, is the first of its kind in the whole of Ghana. You will not see this anywhere. I have been involved in bio digester systems for a long time. Most of our bio digesters are buried underground, so even when you come there you would not see anything but this very one, you can all see what is there..”
He said because of the Coronavirus and the close down of schools in 2020, the students of Umar Bun Hatab Basic School were not able to be part of the initial stages of the project but all the stages were documented and so the students were engaged extensively on the project.
He said the students have been trained on how to feed and maintain the digester.
He commended HATOF Foundation Ghana, Green Advocacy. Lancaster University and other organizations for their relentless efforts in ensuring the project saw the light of day.
On his part, Prof. Kirk Semple from the Lancaster University said he was very happy to witness and be part of the commissioning because when he started on this journey as a microbiologist about a decade ago, not even in his wildest dreams did he think he would be standing there to witness such an event.
He said such a project involves a multi sectorial collaboration and what this project has shown is that waste has a value. So a concept was developed called Resource Recovery from waste.
Prof. Kirk Semple officially commissioned the project amid applause from the people present.
The head teacher of the school, Imoro Sulemana thanked the brains behind the ACTUATE Project and says he believes the project will come with a lot of benefit for the school and students as well.
He said the bio digester will help reduce waste in the school because they will be using part of the waste to generate gas. He said the faecal matter in the septic tank is now being used to generate gas which means the amount of money used in dislodging of the septic tank will no longer be there.
He posited that the school children have benefited immensely from the project as they were trained and also had the opportunity to lead the training of five other schools in the municipality.
He said it is instructive to know that Umar Bun Hatab Basic School is currently the only school in Ghana to have such a monumental project.
He thanked all the people who graced the occasion and assured the relevant stakeholders of maximum use and maintenance of the bio digester.
In attendance were personnel from the Centre for Scientific and industrial Research, Lancaster University, HATOF Foundation Ghana, Green Advocacy Ghana, imams, chiefs, teachers, assemblymen, political party representatives, students and some residents of the community.
Accelerating the adoption of circular sanitation demonstration systems for improved health outcomes (ACTUATE) is a 700,000 Pounds UK Government Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project led by Lancaster University and funded by GCRF-EPSRC Global Research Translation Award UK.
The aim of the project is to construct working demonstrator anaerobic digestion facilities in both Ghana and Nigeria to process organic wastes, produce power and use the result digestate as a sustainable soil conditioner/fertilizer.
The core partners of ACTUATE Project are Lancaster University UK, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Ghana, University of Benin Nigeria, HATOF Foundation Ghana, Nigerian Environmental Society Nigeria, Green Advocacy Ghana and host of other organizations.