Jekora Ventures Limited (JVL) has opened a fortifier production composite plant at Borteyman in the Tema Metropolis to process liquid and solid waste into organic fertilizer.
The plant, which has an initial investment cost of 650,000 US Dollars, is to produce 500 metric tonnes of Fortifer annually from 700 metric tonnes of organic waste collected in Accra, and 12,500 metric cube of faecal sludge.
While the organic waste comprised of segregated food waste at source, the one-third of the faecal sludge would come from public toilets and two-thirds from household septic tanks and pits.
The plant when operating at full capacity would annually absorb the liquid waste of an equivalent of 65,000 to 100,000 people.
The composite plant has five drying beds, one sorting bay, three compositing platform, a palletization unit and a fortifer storage area in addition to some offices.
Engineer Immanuel Nartey-Tokoli, Managing Director of JVL, said the project which started in 2013 after a series of research was a collaboration between the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Training Research and Networking for Development (TREND).
Ing Nartey-Tokoli added that whereas JVL would manage the plant, supply organic waste and market the Fortifer product, TMA would supervise JVL operation and ensure a constant supply of faecal sludge to the plant.
IWMI is to provide technical support and marketing for the co-composts as well as fine-tune the business model with JVL, monitor the plant performance and document and publish lessons from the composite experience while TREND would conduct consultations to identify potential production partners.
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resource, in a keynote address, commended the company and its partners for the initiative which he said would help in solving the country’s sanitation problems and enable Ghana to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six.
Mr Adda added that apart from providing organic fertilizer for farmers, the plant would help create jobs and businesses as well as contribute towards the prevention of some communicable diseases.
He asked private entities to contact the ministry with proposals that could lead to the establishment of more composite plants and landfill sites in all the districts in Ghana.
Such initiatives, he noted, would enable Ghana have a sustainable waste management regime for the over 13,000 tonnes of waste generated daily nationwide.
Madam Patricia Appiah-Agyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who chaired the opening and Madam Elizabeth Sackey, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, commended the company for the initiative.
They reiterated the importance of the plant to solving the increasing sanitation problems and its related health and environmental consequences in Accra and the country.
Mr Jeremy Bird, IWMI Director General, said the project was initiated to step in at a point where the septic tank was full and there was no sustainable measure of properly disposing of faecal sludge.
Mr Bird added that being the first in Africa, his outfit was working at getting more plants across the continent to solve sanitation problem.
Mr Emmanuel Abuanor Nartey, Tema Metropolitan Coordination Director, announced that the TMA was reviewing its byelaws to enable it punish sanitation offenders.
Mr Nartey added that the Assembly would embark on intense awareness creation, training of sanitation officers and provision of needed logistics.