Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy, has called all Ghanaians to join hands to develop legally and socially binding commitments to ensure the treatment of all human excreta by 2019.
Mr Agyarko said this would address the country’s huge sanitation and health problems, as well as create thousands of sustainable jobs, clean energy and improve healthy agriculture practice across the country.
He made the call on Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf during the commissioning of the Safisana Waste to Energy Treatment Plant at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region.
The project is supported by the African Development Bank and the government of Netherlands.
He stated that such a decree must be supported with the needed investments from all related Ministries.
The Energy Minister announced that his outfit would consider the allocation of at least 10 per cent of financing facilities for rural electrification under the National Electrification Scheme to renewable energy-based mini-grids and standalone solar home systems in island, lakeside and sparsely populated communities nationwide.
He noted that priority would be given to increasing local content and participation in the renewable energy sector, adding that waste-to-energy would also receive intervention in the National Renewable Energy Master Plan (NREMP) with massive boost through the legally binding commitment.
Mr Agyarko gave the assurance that the government would continue with ongoing renewable energy projects by the previous administration particularly, the 200,000 National Rooftop Solar Programme, the SECO funded mini-grids for the Ada-East District, and the AfDB off-grid project under GEDAP III, among others.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the treatment of human excreta must start with the provision of toilet facilities for all households as according to him about 75 per cent of households resort to open defecation.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said it was about time separation of waste policies were enforced to ensure that organic raw materials were made available for treatment.
He gave the assurance that he would push for segregation of waste at the seat of government, ministries, departments and agencies.
Mr Raymond Okrofu, Country Manager of Safi Sana Ghana Limited, said the plant was designed to process 30 tonnes of organic waste consisting of solid organic from the markets, households, restaurants, as well as faecal and slaughterhouse waste daily.
Mr Okrofu added that the 30tonnes translated into 2.2MW of electricity which was fed into the national grid under the feed in tariff arrangement.
The plant, he stated, also produced about two tonnes of organic fertilizer daily, as well as organic vegetable and fruits seedlings in its greenhouse in addition to serving as a research and knowledge centre.