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    awardsTwo members of CEESD represented a team of engineering students from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Arizona State University in the 2009 Mondialogo contest for engineering students. The project dubbed 'Development of gel fuel as a possible substitute to fuelwood in Ghana won a bronze award. CEESD is currently seeking financial partners to establish a gel fuel plant for the processing of sugarcane in the lower Volta basin of Ghana.

    The 3rd Ghana Water Forum was organized under the theme “Water and Sanitation Services Delivery in a Rapidly Changing Urban Environment” at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra. The Forum brought together stakeholders involved in the Water and Sanitation sector to deliberate on challenges facing Ghana’s efforts in providing access to potable water and improved sanitation especially in rapidly growing urban centres.

    In the keynote address which was delivered by the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin on behalf of the President of Ghana, Prof. John Evans Mills, the President affirmed the commitment of government to providing 85 % of Ghanaians with potable water by 2015. This is higher compared to the MDG target of 76%. He also called for increase support from the private sector in the provision of sanitation facilities in both rural and urban communities. He further urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that appropriate toilet facilities are available in homes and called for the implementation of bye-laws on sanitation at the local level. 

    The Forum also created the platform for presentations of refereed papers on all aspects of Water and Sanitation. In order to achieve the MDG sanitation coverage of 52% nationwide, CEESD called for review of the revised Sanitation Policy of 2010. CEESD argued that the current policy is too weak on targets, a situation that makes the policy difficult to evaluate. CEESD further called for the policy to revolve around the concept of the 4Rs – Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery – with regards to waste management. Two additional papers were presented by CEESD: solar water purification and technologies for treating underground water resources. 

    In the final day, a communiqué was released which called for the setting up of a water fund to support the deployment of interventions in the water sector. It is hoped that government would commit enough funds in order to achieve the target on water access by 2015.

    The problem of dental fluorosis is endemic in the whole of Bongo district of Ghana as a result of high concentrations of fluoride ions in the underground water system, and caused by the nature of the bedrock formation. This has undoubtedly attracted many organizations to the area in search of a more sustainable solution to the problem, and also due to the fact that almost every person born and bred in Bongo is infected with dental flourosis. The seriousness of the problem is brought to bear when the people from the district mingle with other people from other regions. Their confidence level is eroded due to the unpleasant nature of the teeth which is discoloured. Apart from affecting their confidence level, children of school going age who cannot stand the ridicule from their peers drop out of school and as such their educational development is halted. It is thus not a wonder poverty is so endemic in the area.

    bongo_picMany organizations and interest groups have tried several ways of dealing with the problem, with some sinking boreholes only to cap them after test reveal high fluoride contamination. Meanwhile most of the local people depend mainly on hand dug wells and do not really mind about the fluoride concentration, only that they report of not too pleasant taste of the water even though it looks very clean. The people seem to know the effect of drinking water from their wells but have no other alternative to look up to. Children under the age of 5 years are the most vulnerable.

    CEESD’s intervention

    On realizing that most approaches including the introduction of filtration techniques for fluoride removal were not yielding results, CEESD paid a visit to Bongo in order to assess the extent of the problem. After weeks of deliberations, CEESD came out with a locally adapted design of a solar distiller as the most promising way of mitigating the incidence of dental fluorosis especially among children below the age of fifteen.

    The solar water facility is a technology that makes use of the sun’s radiation to generate steam from impure water and subsequently condenses the steam into pure, distilled water. The solar water distiller purifies water by separating water from all contaminants including fluorides, salts, heavy metals, bacteria, arsenic, and nitrates in the impure water.

    Support from Vodafone Ghana Foundation

    bongo3_news9CEESD with support from Vodafone Ghana Foundation - through its World of Difference programme - installed and commissioned two models of solar water purifiers that provides over 25 litres per day of clean water for pupils at Anaafo Biisi primary school to serve about 120 pupils. Several tests conducted on the purified water at the Water and Sanitation Laboratory of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Ghana Water Company Laboratory in Kumasi indicated a significant drop in fluoride contamination from an initial high concentration of 20.6 ppm in the untreated water to 0.75 ppm in the treated water, which is far lower than the WHO accepted limited limit of 1.5 pmm.

    At the commissioning of the two facilities, the Chief of Anaafo Biisi, Naba Anyanebah Akolgo Saabo II was full of praise for CEESD and Vodafone Ghana Foundation, and went further to appeal for more of such units to be installed in the district since fluoride contamination is their greatest developmental challenge. 

    bongoCEESD hopes to build on the success of this initial project to install 100 more units in 120 selected households, and two basic schools in the 6 communities that make up Anaafo Biisi. In selecting beneficiary households, priority would be given to those with relatively high numbers of children under 5 years old. CEESD thus counts on the support of Vodafone Ghana Foundation and other donors to further extend the programme, and importantly train indigenous people in Bongo and surrounding communities in design, construction and operation of the solar water distiller.

    President John Evans Mills has commended CEESD members for spearheading technological innovations in Ghana. Prof. Mills made the remarks when he visited the exhibition stand of the Energy Research Group of Kumasi Polytechnic during the first Ghana Science Congress in Accra. The first ever science congress in Ghana was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) under the theme Water, Sanitation and Environment: Securing our Future through Science. The congress brought together leading research institutions in the country from the academia, research institutes, and the private sector. Participating institutions were given the platform to exhibit their research works to the general public.

    CEESD members - who are also members of Energy Research Group of Kumasi Polytechnic - used the opportunity to inform the general public and the media on some of the innovative research projects such as gel ethanol, twig light, compost, biochar and solar dryers that it has been promoting over the years in partnership with international organizations such as GlobalResolve of Arizona State University.

    CEESD members explainAttracted by the impressive products displayed by CEESD members, the President of Ghana, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, led by the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Hon. Sherry Ayittey, payed a visit to the Kumasi Polytechnic exhibition stand. The President assured CEESD members that the government will set aside 1% of GDP to support developmental research and development in Ghana. He commended CEESD members for pioneering innovative projects in Ghana even in the absence of financial support. Hon. Sherry Ayittey promised the support of her Ministry to CEESD members and encouraged CEESD to develop more sustainable solutions to the numerous problems that the country is facing in the areas of energy, climate change, water and sanitation, and agriculture.

    Other high profile dignitaries that visited CEESD members during the Congress include the deputy minister of MEST, Hon. Omane Boamah; the head of climate change unit of MEST, Dr. Acquah; the Rector of Kumasi Polytechnic, Prof. Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah; a former Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana, Prof. Addae Mensah; the head of Civil Engineering of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Esi Awuah; and a renowned professor of biochemistry and the chairperson of the national planning committee of the Congress, Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy.  


    About Us

    The Centre for Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Development (CEESD) is a non-for-profit organisation devoted to technologies that offer engineering solutions to global challenges such as climate change, energy poverty, environmental degradation, and pollution on local communities in Ghana and Africa.

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