Reinventing The Urban Sanitation Model In Ghana
By using waste to create industrial fuel, the African country is creating new financial opportunities.
Waste Enterprisers a Ghana-based business has taken on the mission to help improve local urban sanitation. Through a creative approach on waste management that is holistic in its understanding of the larger realities on the ground, Waste Enterprisers is converting an environmental issue into a “sanitation revolution.” Everyday off the western edge of Accra, trucks dump an approximate 250,000 gallons of human waste directly into the water at Lavender Hill. While such practices are not unique to the context of Ghana, it means that more than 85 per cent of human waste generated in Ghana is being dumped into the environment without being treated. This is more than an environmental hazard, it is a serious health disaster.
Waster Enterprisers is processing or rather converting this waste into products that can be sold in the market including: industrial fuel. Their approach is unique to traditional development, when asked ‘ why not just build a sewage treatment plant?’, in an interview with Good Business, CEO Ashley Murray replied;
Building sewage treatment plants is based on a Western approach to sanitation. One assumes the government will bill households, that households will pay those bills, and that collected fees will cover the cost of operating the plant. In reality, governments have been slow and inefficient in setting up billing systems. Even when they do, paying for sanitation simply isn’t a priority for folks living on less than $2 a day.
Waste Enterprisers is reinventing the economics of waste management and in doing so they are using a creative business model that is both effective and sustainable. Their philosophy in the form of their mission and approach includes :
To reinvent the economics that dictate human-waste collection, treatment and disposal. To create new financial incentives through harnessing, developing, and operating waste-based businesses.