African Water Facility Grant for Ghana Project

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The African Water Facility (AWF) has approved a €498,000 grant to the Water Resources Commission in Ghana. 

The  grant will finance a project which will introduce a market and end-user oriented planning approach that simultaneously closes the water and nutrient loops called “Design for Reuse” in order to effectively capture the economic value of wastewater and faecal sludge nutrients to help finance, operate and maintain treatment facilities.

According to a 2008 study undertaken by the International Water Management Institute (IMWI), the 55 existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the 7 municipal faecal sludge treatment plans (FSTPs) in the country have a total design capacity to serve about 25% of the urban population, but less than 10% are operating according to design. Thus, more than 85% of wastewater and faecal sludge are discharged into the environment without any effective treatment.

As a consequence, diarrhoeal diseases are ranked the second greatest public health problem after malaria for most communities in Ghana. Consumption of food contaminated with polluted irrigation water is one of the most common vectors of disease transmission.

To address these issues, the Water Resources Commission in Ghana, submitted a grant proposal to the African Water Facility to support a project aiming at harvesting the value of effluent and nutrients to sustain the operation of sanitation facilities. The goal of the project is to improve the long-term operation and integrity of wastewater and faecal sludge treatment plants in urban Ghana.

The project is based on the design for reuse approach which is an effort to establish the sanitation sector as an active contributor to local economies. The project will result in key impacts such as the reduction of the incidence of waterborne diseases, improvement of access to complete sanitation services, and improved operational and financial sustainability of WWTPs and FSTPs.

The project will be implemented on a pilot scale that comprises four value chains:

  • Reuse in irrigation;
  • Aquaculture;
  • Large-scale land application of faecal sludge; and
  • Biogas recovery.

In addition, the project includes capacity building, achieved through developing and publishing planning protocols, and hosting interactive training workshops.

The total estimated cost of the project is €559,800 which will be financed by an AWF grant of €498,000  (representing 88%), and by contributions of the projects partners estimated at €61,000.