Snapshots of stakeholder meetings in Kumasi and Accra
Over the past two weeks, I have been presenting preliminary findings of the project to relevant sector stakeholders. These meetings were intended to share with stakeholders and seek their inputs for the next stage of the project. The meetings, organized in Accra and Kumasi, were well attended by stakeholders and provided useful inputs for the subsequent project phase. Findings on the spatial distribution of car washing stations relative to surface water resources; vehicle wash patterns at car washing stations; water quantities used at car washing stations and pollution loads of wastewater generated by car washing stations in the Kumasi Metropolis were shared with stakeholders.
This project is the first of its kind to be undertaken in Ghana and therefore brought to the limelight several issues concerning the car wash industry which remained unknown to stakeholders. After bringing to bear the facts and figures, all stakeholders unanimously agreed that there is the need to recycle wastewater produced by the car wash industry. However, there are hindrances that need to surmounted to make this effort sustainable. The stakeholders therefore shared their opinions on the possible hindrances and the strategies to be adopted to overcome them in the next phase of the project.
Generally, no comprehensive effort has been made to create a spatial map of car washing stations in the Kumasi Metropolis and no records exist to show their water footprints and possible environmental impacts. The findings of the project have filled this knowledge gap in the sector.
Because of this project:
• The Environmental Protection Agency can track the location of car washing stations in the Kumasi Metropolis for environmental compliance enforcement based on the spatial map developed
• The Environmental Protection Agency can ascertain the pollution load of wastewater emanating from car washing stations in relation to stipulated effluent discharge guidelines
• The Ghana Water Company Limited can determine how much of the water supplied to the urban landscape is used by car washing stations based on the pattern of vehicle wash and water footprint
• The Water Resources Commission can estimate how much water is being pumped from aquifers for car washing operations and therefore regulate them in line with the 2001 Water Use Regulations in Ghana
In the next phase of the project, we are developing a bench scale wastewater recycling system using local materials as much as possible to reduce capital and operational cost and also simple to operate. This will subsequently be piloted at selected car washing stations in the Kumasi Metropolis.