Assessing the Performance of Liquid Waste Disposal Systems in West Africa: A Case Study in Ghana and Nigeria
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This research is an assessment of existing liquid waste disposal systems in West Africa and their performances over the years, using systems in Ghana and Nigeria as a case study. The main purpose of the study was to improve upon the sustainability of
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This research is an assessment of existing liquid waste disposal systems in West Africa and their performances over the years, using systems in Ghana and Nigeria as a case study. The main purpose of the study was to improve upon the sustainability of the systems, which according to earlier research activities, have been failing and resulting in health hazards. Ghana and Nigeria were selected because, from occurrences, especially in the West African sub-region, the two countries dictate the pace in contributions to the body of knowledge. Many portable liquid waste disposal systems were identified as part of the research process, as earlier researchers called for a paradigm shift from the practice of Europeanized systems that had not been successful in the entire sub-region. Many reasons have been attributed to the failures, and more worryingly, the systems continue to be operational despite their states of malfunctioning. Frequent power cuts and ineffective revenue generation contribute to numerous problems. West Africans have been enduring these occurrences for a long time with no solution in place. In a few instances, raw sewage is piped into a central biogas system for the future generation of electrical power; this system was found to be right on point because it was determined from the initial stages of development that by-products could be used to mitigate the high costs of maintenance. Another system that combines a biofil digester with its treated wastewater being channeled into a saturation pond was found to be a success because the outflow from the biofil was not meant to be channeled into main drains, as it did not wholly meet EPA approvals. The centralized sewage treatment systems have been functioning well in advanced countries; however, they are found to be ineffective in developing countries. The reasons included lack of availability for spare parts and coagulants, etc., which were normally imported. Additionally, when a larger community is targeted, revenue generation becomes a problem, thereby affecting return on investments (ROI) and operating and maintenance (O&M). None of the available central sewerage systems harvest by-products, making revenue generation a difficult task. The portable systems have been discussed in this research study, with examples and a record of performance over the years that could contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of sustainability for sewage treatment processes suitable for West Africa and for the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.