The Biogas Association of Ghana (BAG) is advocating and promoting the use of biodigesters as replacements for septic tanks in the management of wastewater (blackwater) from homes and institutions.
At a workshop held in Accra on September 25, 2020, the Vice President of the Association Nana Osei Bonsu said it is important to promote Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems over the current practice where septic tanks are used to hold the blackwater for it to be collected and discharged into water bodies in their raw state.
According to him, they are looking forward to create real partnerships for change that intend to implement biogas projects in Ghana.
The Association he revealed in working to partner the government through commercial arrangements and project collaborations aimed at delivering the positive benefits of a biogas economy.
He explained that biogas technology has proven to improving sanitation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping to prevent deforestation and forest degradation, producing fertilizer and providing clean decentralised energy.
The objectives of the association he noted are aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the biogas sector in Ghana.
It among things liaising with policy-makers for the development and implementation of favourable policies for biogas technology and ensuring that these policies are incorporated in National Development Policies as well as ensuring and supporting the development of quality standards by training actors in the industry based on modern approved practices in the industry.
He argued that the use of biogas systems can be used in producing biogas for cooking and the effluent for irrigation and fertilising creates which would further create environmental benefits for institutions and the society as a whole.
He said the challenges and risks that need to be addressed when implementing institutional biogas on a large scale are education of users and ensuring that no harmful pathogens are in the effluent and ensuring the biogas is used and not emitted without flaring.
The Biogas Association of Ghana consists of firms, organizations, institutions, companies and individuals who are deeply engaged in the design and construction of biogas plants, research and development activities in the biogas technology, sale of biogas accessories, advocates of renewable energy technology and users of the technology
Also speaking at the workshop, a representative from the Energy Commission Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo said over 100 biogas plants have been constructed nation wide with the main objective to provide energy for cooking and electricity generation.
He said the treatment of the organic matter to address issues of sanitation and the use of the digested slurry for agriculture have not been the main driving factor for the investment.
Basing his presentation on a research work conducted some few years ago, he said bio-sanitation has been the main driving factor for successful biogas
plants in Ghana.
He indicated that energy and fertilizer are therefore considered as by-products and for most of the operating plants are either flared or released without utilization.
The technology is limited to locations where the organic feedstock and water are readily available, he added.
Meanwhile, he has kicked against the conversion of septic tanks to biogas technology saying it would rather be prudent to invest in new systems of biogas then converting septic tanks to one.