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General News of Thursday, 23 April 2015


Gov't to depend on septic tanks for power

Government is working to convert the septic tanks in all public institutions and households nationwide into bio-septic tanks.

The bio-septics will then generate gas for domestic use and also enable government take the majority of the population off the national grid.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga on the Citi Breakfast Show disclosed that the “President directed that I should take steps to convert the septic tanks of all secondary schools, all polytechnics, all universities, all hospitals and indeed, all public institutions into bio-septics so that they can convert the waste into gas that can be used to power the institutions.”

The bio-gas technology, he said, has been in existence for years but “what we haven’t done in Ghana is to disseminate it and get it adopted by the general populace.”

This initiative is expected to help mitigate the effects of the three-year power crisis which has intensified over the last few months.

Businesses and industries have been the worst hit as thousands of people have been laid off due to the energy challenges.

Mahama Ayariga mentioned that to prevent the economy from grinding to a halt and also to help prevent an increase in unemployment rates in the country, his Ministry has been holding meetings with different stakeholders including the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop a plan to help businesses use the bio-gas technology.

The Institute for Industrial Research has designed the bio-gas plant which is presently being used at the Ankaful Prison.

The Institute is also in the process of developing smaller plants which will be used by households in Ghana.

The Environment Minister said the project will not be implemented on a pilot basis.

“It’s going start at once across all institutions and we are using different mechanisms and that is why at this stage, we are engaged with the various stakeholders. What we are doing is a massive initiative to spread the technology and get everybody to use it,” he explained.

The Environment Ministry will embark on a road show to sensitize citizens on the project before its implementation.

Thousands of masons in Ghana will also be trained and equipped to build the bio-septic tanks for households.

Mahama Ayariga appealed to the media to support the Ministry’s efforts by helping with the sensitization campaign.

He estimated that if “we work hard within a year, we should be able to get majority of buildings in this country to convert their septic tanks into bio-septics.”

“It is also an effective mechanism for reducing the demand for firewood and charcoal to address the problem of deforestation,” he added.