Date: March 23, 2017
Venue: Accra, Ghana
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, MLG&RD (local host & partner) organized one day policy workshop on “Faecal Sludge Management” with an aim to involve and sensitize stakeholders and to initiate making of a policy framework on Faecal Sludge Management.
Under the MoU signed between MLG&RD and CSE, a training programme was organised in March 2016 on ‘Planning and designing of Decentralised Wastewater Treatment including local reuse at Accra, Ghana which also included sessions on preparing Shit Flow diagrams (SFDs) to understand the sanitation scenario in the country.
The country has experienced substantial increase in the level of urbanization since 1984. However, the population of Ghana continues to be predominantly rural. In Ghana sanitation refers to a wider context that covers feacal sludge management, wastewater management, solid waste management and storm water drainage etc. According to 2000 Housing and Population Census, about 31% of households rely on public toilets mainly WCs, KVIPs and Aqua Privies, while 22% have access to pit latrines of varied level of improvements. About 7% of households use KVIPs and 9% have access to flush toilets (water closets connected to cesspits and septic tanks mostly without drain fields). The use of unhygienic and health-threatening pan (or bucket) latrines still exist accounting for about 4% of household usage, especially in government quarters.
The national average for sewerage coverage is as low as 4.5%. The treatment of wastewater in all regions of Ghana is inadequate. The overflow of septage from septic tanks into drains and water courses further pollutes the immediate environment, with the result that most drains meant for stormwater and sullage conveyance are effectively serving as “open sewers”. It is reported that out of 44 sewage treatment plants (including 7 Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment Plants, FSTPs) treatment facilities only 7 are functioning adequately. The overflow of septage from septic tanks into drains and water courses further pollutes the immediate environment, with the result that most open drains meant for storm water and sullage conveyance are effectively “open sewers”.
In order to improve and address to sanitation problems in Ghana, there is an urgent need to develop alternate faecal sludge management approaches. The policy workshop highlighted these issues and showcased solutions practiced in other countries to overcome the problem. It helped to further develop the South-South network of the regulators/practitioners in the area of Sanitation/ Faecal Sludge management.
The policy workshop was organized with the following objectives:
To share knowledge on the impact of inadequate sanitation on public health and environment in Ghana
To strengthen knowledge for implementing sustainable wastewater management
To highlight the need for paradigm shift from sewerage to city wide sanitation
To share knowledge sharing of best management practices from Asia and Africa, in the area of faecal sludge management and wastewater treatment
Towards the end of the workshop participants/ stakeholders discussed in groups and were able to identify issues and challenges to achieve sustainable faecal sludge management to improve sanitation.
The participants included government and non-government practitioners, academicians, media and representatives from national and international NGOs.
Attached is a detailed list of participants
Following are the weblinks to the media coverage of the policy workshop in the local media of Ghana:
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