As Ghana struggles to put its sanitation challenges at center stage of national development, the potential of turning its wastes into an investment avenue is not lost on investors.

Currently, there are about five major waste treatment companies dealing with waste in a more holistic manner.

This revelation came up at a stakeholders forum dubbed the National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NALLAP) of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector held here on Thursday.

The NALLAP meeting, which followed the World Water Day celebrations Wednesday under the theme “Water and Waste Water”, brought together researchers, practitioners and manufacturers in waste treatment to look at the way forward for Ghana.

Safisana Ghana Limited is a private sector-led initiative that composts waste in the Ashaiman Municipality, about 40 km east of the capital.

Raymond Ategbi Okrofu, Country Manager for Safisana Ghana, said the 2.5 million-euro facility provided compost manure for an adjoining Green House agricultural project while at the same time producing 2MW of electricity from butane produced from the waste.

“But what we need is for local assemblies to invest in waste segregation to facilitate the work of those who build waste processing plants,” Okrofu urged.

The Safisana waste treatment plant treats 30 metric tonnes of waste daily in a suburb that produces about 85 metric tonnes of waste in a day, leaving a wide room for investors.

The waste segregation, he said, would become a major investible sector in Ghana’s quest to achieve high environmental sanitation standards.

There are other companies including MDF West Africa, Chinese-supported Zoomlion Ghana, CopeVal and Bola Bondeh which are into solid and liquid waste treatment in the country.

Former President John Dramani Mahama commissioned last November a new 15 million-U.S. Dollar new liquid waste processing plant to deal with raw fecal matter in the capital to put an end to an age-old practice of dumping fecal sludge into water bodies, including the Atlantic Ocean.

Richard Yeboah of MDF Ghana said the economic benefits of waste treatment to government were enormous as it solved environmental degradation problems and reduced both the financial and environmental cost of fecal waste management.

Fred Smiet, head of WASH programs at the Netherlands embassy, said waste treatment had huge economic potentials for the country and needed the support of all the stakeholders, including government.

“The economic benefits are huge because wastewater or solid waste has the capacity to pollute so once you are adding value to it, then you are reducing the element of pollution,” Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana noted in an interview.

He urged that the process be based on proper research to ensure that the public accepted, for instance, farm and aqua-culture products produced with treated wastewater. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh