Ashiaman polyclinic biogas plant (Ghana) - Sanitation, Water Supply and Hygiene Services Delivery to the Urban Poor in Ghana through Tripartite Partnerships


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  • AquaVerde
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Re: Ashiaman polyclinic biogas plant (Ghana) - Sanitation, Water Supply and Hygiene Services Delivery to the Urban Poor in Ghana through Tripartite Partnerships

Dear Dwuodwo,

Nice job done!

May you explain more about the filters after the digesters mentioned on page 7 Figure 1.2c: The Filtration bed and in sketch on page 8 "5. Digester Effluent Filtration Bed". Is it only a concrete box with gravel and concrete cover? Do this system need a periodical exchange of filter material?
Do you have any information about COD's and BOD's of digester effluent before and after the filter?

Which system do you use for "6. Gray water Filtration Bed" ?

Tanks in advance.

Best Regards,
Detlef, AquaVerde Ltd. Zanzibar
"simple" Sanitation-Solutions by gravity
Low-Tech Solutions with High-Tech Effects
"Inspired by Circular Economy and Cooperation"

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Improved Sanitation, Water Supply and Hygiene Services Delivery to the Urban Poor in Ghana through Tripartite Partnerships-ASHIAMAN POLYCLINIC BIOGAS

Dear Dwuodwo,

Thanks for introducing TREND in Ghana here on the forum and for attaching the brief description of the biogas treatment plant for wastewater from a clinic in Ashiaman.

Information for the others: I was interested in sanitation projects funded by the African Development Bank via the African Water Facility (AWF) which has received 12 Mio USD by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011, as you can see here:

The African Water Facility set up a new website last year where you can filter projects by content (e.g. sanitation) and by country. This is how I found this project by TREND which is briefly described here on the AWF website:

May 2013 – The Training Research and Networking for Development (TREND) a local NGO, received a € 1.1 million grant to finance the construction of a waste treatment plant that can produce about 500 tons of fertilizer per year, and can generate about 580,000 kWh per year of electricity from the biogas produced from the process. The project will also contribute to improving the hygiene, health and the quality of life of an estimated 125,000 underprivileged urban dwellers by providing them access to new, safe sanitation services through the expansion of the Ashaiman Municipality’s sanitation coverage. Overall, the project will facilitate the development of a business model, with potential for leveraging resources from the private sector for further scaling up to other areas of the Greater Accra Region.

A related project was recently introduced by Aart from Safisana here on the forum:

Seems to be lots of activities on biogas in Ghana now!?

Dear Dwuodwo, in your attached report you wrote:

Most importantly, the successful operation of the biogas plant and the washroom would accelerate the
uptake and diffusion, and deployment of biogas plants in other metropolitan, municipal, and district
assemblies. The Ashaiman plant which is the first known biogas plant in a clinic will serve as a model for
the replication of the technology in all the polyclinics in the country. This will help achieve a significant
greenhouse gas emission reduction, address key environmental, water and sanitation challenges in
health care institutions, while making the operations cost-effective.

Could you please explain to me:
  1. When was this biogas plant commissioned?
  2. Who is responsible for operation and maintenance?
  3. How much did it cost (total and calculated as per person served)?
  4. Has the gas production met your expectations?
  5. What is being done with the biogas?
  6. What is the effluent quality like and what do you do with the effluent or with any digested sludge?
  7. Who designed the plant?
  8. What is the relationship between your project and the one of Safisana?
  9. Do you see any initiatives for copying the design for other hospitals in Ghana?
And what was or is your role in this project?

Thanks a lot for answering my questions, I look forward to reading from you on the forum.

Kind regards,
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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  • TRENDGROUP's Avatar
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  • Water Supply Engineer and GIS Consultant based in Ghana with extensive experience in Water, Sanitation and Mapping
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Ashiaman polyclinic biogas plant (Ghana) - Sanitation, Water Supply and Hygiene Services Delivery to the Urban Poor in Ghana through Tripartite Partnerships

Dear All,

The Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND) Group was established in April 1989 as a component of a UNDP-sponsored, World Bank executed project called the "Low-cost Human Waste Management Project in Kumasi." TREND was conceived within the framework of the International Training Network (ITN) for Water and Wastes Management Programme which was promoted by the UNDP/World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme, and is currently one of five centres established in Africa under the Programme. From its establishment until April 1995, TREND was located within the Department of Civil Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Since the expiry of donor support in 1995, TREND has been operating as an independent self-supporting national NGO and is currently located at the WASH House in Dzorwulu, Accra.

TREND has operated as a legal entity in Ghana over the past 15years. It has the needed profile, legal eligibility and reputation within the sector as a key consultancy group, resource centre and research and training organisation. The profile and reputation of TREND in planning and delivery of WASH services is illustrated by the scope of donors, projects and international partners that it is associated with.


TREND’s main areas of operation in its mission to ensuring sustained delivery of water supply and sanitation facilities are targeted at rural areas, small towns, and deprived urban areas. Over the past 15 years TREND has accumulated significant experience working on activities within the following areas/themes:

1. Rural/Small Towns WASH Services Delivery
TREND has 15 years of experience of supporting WASH delivery in community based projects in rural areas and small towns.
Water Supply: The scope of interventions has included sector studies, project formulation and development of MMDA and community capacity for post construction management.
Environmental Sanitation: TREND is seen as a leader in terms of sanitation development and has been involved in sanitation component of several projects. The scope of activities has included technology choices and design, marketing and funding. In recent times the group has been playing a key role in development of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach and in development of sanitation ladder approach including the construction of sanitation markets (SANIMARTS).

School sanitation and hygiene:
Hygiene education and promotion of behaviour change

2. Pro-Poor Urban Water Supply Issues: TREND has over a decade of experience in development of WASH services to poor urban areas. The Group is seen as leaders in pro-poor project planning and development and is currently implementing the Tripartite Partnership Project (TPP), - a 3 million Euro Action research project that is focusing on development of innovative management schemes for addressing WASH challenges in poor urban areas within 3 Municipalities/districts. The scope of experience has involved infrastructure improvements, and development of structures for sustained management of facilities. Organisational development in support of decentralised management and multi-stakeholder partnerships constitutes core principles for interventions.

3. Urban Environmental Sanitation Services Delivery
4. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

Our activities have mostly been in Ghana though the Group has a history of carrying out short term assignments in Anglophone West African Countries such as Gambia and Nigeria. The key services and products delivered in these sectoral segments are as follows:

1. Baseline studies, Sector Studies and Applied Research
TREND is experienced in carrying out specific technical studies including engineering design studies and capacity assessments towards the design of pilot project interventions. The scope of issues covered under the various studies involves: Institutional Assessment and Capacity Needs assessments, Baseline and scoping studies and Formative research (in support of social marketing and behavioural change interventions - KAPB studies), Engineering Studies: including hydro-geological assessments, geotechnical investigations to enable complete design and costing of all infrastructural improvements, Environmental Assessment, Project monitoring and evaluation studies, Economic and Financial Analysis: Data gathering including field data to enable economic and financial (investment) analysis.

2. Designs and Costing of Project Components
TREND’s emphasis on development of knowledge through research and piloting of projects means that the Group is also well acquainted with the challenges of project formulation, facilities design, construction management and contractual issues and project management.
The Group has accumulated considerable hands-on experience in the design and management of contracts relating to Analysis of strategic options for project interventions, Project formulation, including costing and appraisal, Engineering Designs and costing of various systems: Point sources/piped system; Environmental Sanitation Systems (Household and Institutional toilets – design costing of various technologies); Drainage and Wastewater disposal systems (toilets and SANIMARTs, urban drainage, household wastewater disposal); Solid waste systems – wide experience in development of small towns systems, including building of structures for sustainable management

3. Other Aspects of Project Support (During Implementation and Post Construction)
Within the WASH sector, TREND has adequately aimed at maintaining internal capacity to facilitate the implementation of the complete range of activities involved in the WASH service delivery chain. The range of experience relating to project implementation is amply illustrated in the ongoing AfDB sponsored "WASH services delivery to the Urban Poor in Ghana through Tripartite Partnerships (TPP Project)".

4. Capacity Building (Institutional/Organisational and Human Resource Development)
TREND’s establishment objective is to support the processes by which individuals, groups, organisations and institutions increase their abilities to perform core functions related to pro-poor WASH services delivery in a broad context and in a sustainable manner. Capacity building is achieved at 3 levels:

• Human Resource Development (HRD)
• Organisational Development (OD)
• Institutional Development (ID)

 Special Effort towards the Development of Capacity for Monitoring and Evaluation
TREND’s experience is that effective project wide monitoring system based on control of indicators and high quality process documentation is often essential to achieve the learning objectives of Projects. In our scope of activities we differentiate between Monitoring for Effectiveness (in terms of project impact and outcomes e.g. on access to the poor, sustainability) and Monitoring for Efficiency (in terms of investment efficiency and achievement of expected targets).

 Knowledge Management and Advocacy
The Water and sanitation sector in Ghana has achieved much by way of coverage improvement but the process has not incorporated much learning or knowledge management. TREND is playing a lead role in the effort through the establishment and resourcing of a Sector Resource Centre Network (RCN) to transform the water and sanitation sector into a learning and knowledge driven sector. TREND is leading the effort to develop capacity for Assessing knowledge requirements, Documentation of sector learning events and case studies and development of information products/services, Encouraging the dynamic sharing and utilisation of information resources with a view to improving investments in the Ghanaian Sector, Serving as a key sector memory base where documentation of sector experience including unpublished literature will be safely kept, Facilitating networking with other key knowledge institutions in pursuit of knowledge development and sharing.

TREND played a key role in establishing and currently hosts the Secretariat of the Resource Centres Network (RCN) which serves as a hub for Sector Learning and Sharing in Ghana. The Group is considered the lead trainers/resource centre in issues relating to knowledge management.

• TREND has been engaged in a number of projects funded by bilateral and multilateral agencies including AfDB, GTZ, KfW, DANIDA, World Bank (IDA), UNDP, UNICEF, CIDA, DFID, JICA, etc., and have undertaken various assignments jointly with several local NGOs and local/foreign consulting groups.
• TREND has provided support to Projects under various government Agencies, private and CSOs like the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD); the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL – Urban Sector) - formerly Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (GWSC/GWCL); the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA); National Development Planning Commission (NDPC); as well as several NGO implemented initiatives.
• As the decentralization process in Ghana has deepened, the District Assemblies have also increasingly become important as clients. The Group has been involved in various projects spanning over all 10 regions within Ghana.
• International experience has included brief experiences in Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Mali and Sierra Leone. Within the scope of these services, direct support has been provided to several metropolitan/municipal/district assemblies, NGOs and CBOs and the private sector.


Short presentation from February 2014 of the AWF-funded Tripartite Partnership Project which ended in late 2013.

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Also attached you will find a short write-up on the best example of waste treatment and reuse that was involved in the Project.

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Dwuodwo Yamoah-Antwi
Water Supply Engineer/GIS Expert
WASH House
Hse No. C128/12
Wama Close, Dzorwulu
P.O.Box CT 6135, Cantonments

Office: + 233-302-769530/552
Mobile: +233-20-5369938

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