Ashaiman factory

Safi Sana’s pilot project began in Ashaiman, a settlement of 250,000 people in Ghana, to test our model of collecting waste from improved public toilets and organic waste sources to produce electricity, biogas, organic fertilizer, and seedlings.

The project was carried out in cooperation with a strong network of stakeholders, including the Ashaiman Municipality and Ministries of Energy, Agriculture and Local Government, Royal Haskoning DHV, World Waternet and the International Fertiliser Development Centre.

The cost of operations and maintenance of the Safi Sana factory are covered with the sale of products, making the model financially sustainable and ensuring long term impact. The capital investment for construction of the plant for a large part is covered by the donor contributions (African Development Bank, DGIS/NL government).

Our approach

  • Locally run – 90% of the factory staff are local to the community. They enjoy an intensive training programme and had previously had limited economic prospects. As well as ensuring local ownership, we employed rigorous business modelling to reach the ideal economic scenario. Factories with one senior manager, supported by Safi Sana experts working remotely, provide competitive and sustainable pricing models.
  • Appropriate technology – The technology requires initial significant investment but once installed it is low tech, easy to operate and cost-effective to maintain and replace. The investment provides a substantially more economic and efficient way of working compared to the traditional waste water plants. As well as promoting more socially responsible processing of industrial (non-toxic) waste leading to health and environment improvements.
  • Working in partnership – We work closely with all supply chain stakeholders. We receive increasing approaches from Multinationals who are interested in engaging with Safi Sana to have them handle their process waste; this promotes the companies’ environment policy as well as providing an attractive business relationship.
  • Roll out – Once the total concept of technology introduction, capacity building and product development is fully understood and operating confidently through to a 2 year point, we envisage effective scale up at the rate of 3-5 factories per year globally. Our modelling suggests that once Safi Sana has 3 factories, we will have a profitable social enterprise.

Response

At the Factory Commissioning event in April 2017, The Minister of Energy, Hon Mr Agyarko said: “This project will address the country’s huge sanitation and health problems, as well as creating thousands of sustainable jobs, clean energy and improve healthy agricultural practices across the country.”

Organic fertilizer

To find out more about the organic fertilizer produced in Safi Sana’s factory, click here.