GKMA-SWP intensifies training on bio-digester toilet construction and installation
The Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) Sanitation and Water Project (SWP), has begun training of students in principles, technologies, and the construction of bio-digester toilet facilities as part of proactive measures to protect the environment from untreated faecal matter.
Date Created : 6/8/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Florence Afriyie Mensah/Ghanadistricts.com
Mr. George Asiedu, Project Coordinator of the GKMA-SWP, said the proliferation of the technology immediately created the urgent need for its standardization to ensure a cleaner environment.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day training in Construction and Installation of bio-digester for students of the Faculty of Built and Natural Environment, Kumasi Technical University (KsTU), Mr. Asiedu underlined the need expose professionals to principles of the technology to achieve the desired results.
“One major constraint is that anything that has a technology attached to it means it has some principles and you must adhere to its construction and siting. If you do not do that, you will get to a situation where the facility will be giving challenges to people,” he explained.
Mr. Asiedu cited Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pits to buttress his point, saying that they were good facilities, but the challenges had to do with technologies in the construction.
“The KVIP improved toilet facility technology is still good, but the problem with it is that many people got into the construction without understanding the principles. So, the construction was wrong, and it also rendered the facility into poor operation and people began to shy away from it,” he emphasised.
According to Mr. Asiedu, the bio-digester technology had been given a serious boost across Ghana since 2016 through Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project building over 50,000 facilities.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census puts the number of Ghanaians using bio-digester toilets at 130,251.
He said the surge in the use and acceptance of the facility in especially low-income areas was largely due to it being cheap, easy to install, minimal maintenance cost, minimum space for construction, environmentally friendly and saving water.
The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources through the GAMA-SWP has developed a construction and installation manual by documenting the entire process of construction and installing the bio-digester in a very simple language.
The manual is expected to be useful to engineers, technicians, artisans, entrepreneurs and institutions in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector.
Mr. Asiedu indicated that the project sought to train skilled manpower to build more facilities to augment the government’s efforts towards achieving SDG 6 where everybody must have access to improved toilet and water supply.
Ms. Charlotte Adjei-Marfo, Capacity Building Coordinator of GKMA-SWP, said the project was collaborating with the institutions to train some selected technical universities and the schools of hygiene in the technologies of bio-digester construction, adding that it was targeting about two million students.
She said the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources recognised the need to create an enabling business environment in the sector and bring on board young professionals to deliver quality services in constructing toilet and water facilities.
Dr. Kofi Owusu Adjei, Head of Department, Faculty of Built and Natural Environment, KsTU, noted that more than 500 students from the school would benefit from the training to create avenues for job avenues going forward.