Mark Yeboah-Agyepong

IWMI’s wastewater aquaculture reuse project wins Sanitation Challenge for Ghana

  

Innovative public-private partnership provides win-win for aquaculture and sanitation

An aquaculture project that provides a win-win situation for agriculture and sanitation by raising catfish in treated wastewater has won two awards at the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana. Two of the initiative’s partners won first place prizes awarded on July 24, 2019 in Accra. The public-private partnership is part of an International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and WLE resource, recovery and reuse project.

The awards topped off a multi-year competition among Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana as well as private sector partners, funded by DFID.  The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana, launched in October 2015 on World Toilet Day, challenged MMDAs to design and implement new and innovative liquid waste management strategies to transform the livelihoods of Ghana’s urban centres.

The CapVal project – short for “Urban waste recycling in Ghana: Creating and Capturing Value” – launched in September 2014/ It proposes three resource, recovery and reuse (RRR) solutions – solid waste, fecal sludge and sewage – to incentivize local sanitation management and establish new forms of business. The businesses have been tested through public private partnerships, resulting in fuel briquettes, co-compost and African catfish produced and marketed in Southern Ghana. IWMI’s contribution has been partially supported through the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

Both the public and private partners of the project ranked first among competitors, with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) winning the GBP400,000 in the Metropolitan and Municipal Assembly Category, and TriMark Aquaculture Centre taking the USD100,000 Private Partner Prize.

“What started six years ago with financial support from AfDB’s Design for reuse project has evolved into a business solution under the CapVal project with funding from the Dutch Government and Via Water,” said IWMI Senior Researcher Josiane Nikiema. “We are honored and excited for our partners to be recognized for these efforts.”

Dr. Josiane Nikiema, Senior Researcher, proposes a toast during the reception.
Joseph Aketema/IWMI

The aquaculture component of the project provides benefits for both fisheries and sanitation by raising catfish brood stock in treated wastewater. Supported by studies from IWMI and partners, the solution follows the use of wastewater-fed aquaculture. The business model was designed for the wastewater treatment plan in Kumasi, a project built in collaboration with the KMA. In this win-win model the city saves on operational costs to maintain the treatment ponds while the fish farmers save on capital costs for infrastructure, water and fertilizer. 

IWMI Ghana held a celebration and cocktail to recognize the award on September 4 in Accra, with winners, partners and dignitaries in attendance.

The Ghana Sanitation Challenge “Dignified City” awards presented to IWMI partners KMA and Trimark.
Mercy Amparbeng/Ghanaian Times

“The mention of our name as first winners came with excitement especially because we knew the screening process was very fair and transparent,” Mr. Mark Yeboah-Agyepong, Director, TriMark Aquaculture Centre said on receiving the award. “We believe in our effort in rolling out our business models since 2010.

Present at the celebration were Hon. Osei Assibey Bonsu, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of KMA, Hon. Daniel Alexander Nii-Noi Adumuah, MCE of Adenta Municipal District (AdMA), Hon. Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, MCE of Tema Municipal District (TMA), Mr. P.K. Asamoah, MCD of Yilo-Krobo Municipal Assembly, Mr. Eugene Larbi, Managing Director of Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND), Mr. Mark Yeboah- Agyepong, Founder and Centre Director of TriMark Aquaculture Centre (TAC), and Mr. Abdul Kudus Husein, International Water and Sanitation Center (IRC) Resource Center Network (RCN) Coordinator.

Dr. Philip Amoah addresses attendees at the CapVal Project awards celebration.
Mercy Amparbeng/Ghanaian Times

CapVal is part of IWMI/WLE’s continuing efforts on RRR. In 2018, researchers published Resource Recovery for Waste, a book profiling 24 innovative wealth-from-waste business models. The solutions include designs for transforming waste into fertilizer, food waste into biogas, and wastewater into irrigation sources, including the award winning aquaculture case. 

Last year, 25 international university lecturers received training on the materials, and a free online curriculum was posted on sswm.info.

Currently, WLE and IWMI are working to streamline the business model related knowledge into the curricula of at least 19 universities. Launched in September 2015, CapVal proposes three resource, recovery and reuse (RRR) solutions – solid waste, fecal sludge and sewage – to incentivize local sanitation management and establish new forms of business. The businesses have been tested through public private partnerships, resulting in fuel briquettes, co-compost and African catfish produced and marketed in Southern Ghana. IWMI’s contribution has been partially supported through the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

Attendees gather for a group photo at the IWMI Ghana office.
Joseph Aketema/IWMI