SHS to be provided with biogas plants

SONY DSCThe National Biogas programme to convert septic tanks of all the Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country into biogas plants to generate biogas for cooking and lighting purposes is to begin at this end of the month.

Consequently, the Institute of Industrial Research has organised a day’s workshop to train personnel to man those facilities.

The 15 participants who are electrical and plumbing workers, as well construction supervisors drawn from some local construction firms in the country, were taken through the CSIR-IIR-Anaerobic Baffled Reactor, a system developed by the CSIR-IIR to convert faecal matter into biogas.

The Deputy Minister of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo, disclosing these to the Ghanaian Times after opening the day’s training programme, said “all is set” for the project to convert the faecal matter of all the SHS across the country into biogas to begin adding that the CSIR-IIR had presented all the model drawings on the project to her outfit.

“To save cost of the project which is being financed through internally generated funds, the Ministry has decided to use the staff of CSIR-IIR and the SHSs to execute the project. As part of the project, the staff of the SHSs will be trained to man the facilities. The biogas project, an important energy mix, will relieve management of the SHSs across the country of huge monies spent on buying gas for cooking for students,” she said

According to her, checks she conducted indicated that each of the SHSs would save between GHc7, 000 and GHc10, 000 per term if the project got on stream.

Dr Heloo said the projects to be executed on a pilot basis, if proved successful, would be extended to hospitals, public institutions and subsequently households.

The Deputy Minister urged the trainees to take advantage of the training to build their capacity to manage the new biogas technology developed by the CSIR-IIR, and also entreated all stakeholders to support the project to succeed.

The Acting Director of CSIR-IIR, Herbert A. Obiri, in his welcoming address, said the socio-economic benefit of biogas was enormous.

The benefits, he mentioned, included the reduction of pollution and deforestation, improvement in public health by curtailing the spread of parasites and prevision of fertilizer for agricultural purposes.

Mr Obiri said the operation of a biogas plant required “high and special technical skills,” and it was against that background that the CSIR-IIR organised the training workshop to train the manpower needed to man the CSIR-IIR-Anaerobic Baffled Reactor, which operated under similar principles of anaerobic digestion.

The Project Coordinator of the CSIR-IIR Biogas Technology, Mr Gilbert Selormey, told The Ghanaian Times that each of the participants who would be issued with a certificate and would serve as trainer-of-trainers for the biogas project.

It is be recalled that the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mahama Ayariga, last month announced the project to convert the faecal matter of more than the 800 SHSs across the country into biogas to reduce their reliance on gas and electricity to for their energy needs.

By Kingsley Asare

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