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Regional News of Sunday, 24 May 2015

Source: GNA

Gov't promotes biogas in second cycle schools

Some second cycle schools in the Greater Accra Region have begun constructing or strengthening their septic tanks to provide biogas as an alternative to hydroelectric power.

Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who made the announcement in Parliament, in Accra, on Friday, explained to pressmen later that, the move is to provide alternative energy to power light electrical items.

It is also in compliance with the directive of President John Mahama to second cycle institutions to strengthen the septic systems to generate power to augment the current energy supply, which is in crisis.

The announcement, an interjection from the Minister, was made when a member of the House was contributing to a statement the Minister had made to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day), which fell on May 22.

The theme for this year’s celebration was “Biodiversity for Development.”

The Minister observed that a lot of big institutions such the Flagstaff House and the University of Ghana have big septic tanks, which could be used to generate gas to power generators for domestic usage.

“We want to promote biogas as a technology,” Mr Ayariga, who is also a lawyer with specialization in Natural Resources Law and International Law, said.

He pointed out that, the gas generated from the biogas could be used also to power automobiles, and that, other products such as manure and recycled water, which is also environmentally friendly could be used also.

Mr Ayariga said the Ministry, in conjunction with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, has begun the construction of a septic tank, and is carrying out a pilot biogas project at the Presbyterian Senior High School at Legon, in Accra.

He said the project is expected to be replicated in second cycle schools across the country.

The Minister announced a planned massive education on biogas technology.

‘Mr Speaker, to commemorate the Day, Ghana has chosen to link the contribution of biodiversity to conservation and sustainable energy development in order to bring out the issue of Biogas generation as alternative energy. This is appropriate because of the enormous benefits that biogas development and operations can bestow on Ghana,” Mr Ayariga said in the statement.

He explained: “Biogas is a product of the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Organic matter includes all kinds of organic waste from agriculture, household, industry, municipal, hospital and hotels among others, which create a nuisance when left unattended to and are therefore discarded. This means that all the organic matter which form part of the waste generated by people in their normal human activities, accumulated and or hauled daily in trucks either in their solid or liquid form for disposal constitute a huge supply of raw materials.”

He called on colleagues to join the Ministry in using “the commemoration to promote the conservation of the biological resources in the country to ensure the continuous supply of raw materials to biogas generation and other benefits for the country.”

The House in a related development, made contributions to a statement by Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Banduah, the Chairman of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Africa day, which would be celebrated next Monday, May 25, 2015.