By Tamsir Manneh
To have first-hand information on the Management of liquid waste Halifa Sallah accompanied by a Marine Engineer of Gambian origin resident in Copenhagen, Mr. Momodou Camara and other members of the Gambia organisation in Denmark visited Biofos the largest wastewater company in Denmark. Biofos treats wastewater of 1.2 million inhabitants in the Copenhagen metropolitan area, at three plants.
Monday’s visit was at Damhusåen which was very educative for both the Member of Parliament and the other members of visiting team.
Halifa Sallah expressed the view that Waste Management is a major environmental challenge in the Gambia. In the city of Banjul there is a sewerage system. However, there are waste water challenges especially during the rainy season when the poor drainage system impacts negatively on the sewerage system and the roads. In the Kanifing Municipality and beyond the most advanced form of liquid waste disposal is to rely on individual septic tanks in homes. The rest depend on pit latrines or even indiscriminate disposal of liquid waste in the street or other unauthorised places. This is made worse by the absence of public toilets and urinals in many public places.
Mr. Jens Kjaer Christensen the expert on the subject gave a comprehensive history of the waste management system in Copenhagen and an overview of the current system.
This was followed by a tour of the facility to see how the treatment plant operates and the processes involved. The activity lasted for hours indicating the willingness to transfer knowledge and experience which The Gambia should capitalise on as it prepares itself to address such development challenges.
The waste water management system links buildings, roads and other infrastructure to a sewerage and drainage system.
A sewerage system is connected to all buildings and roads making it possible for all waste and rain water to flow to the waste water treatment plant which has ways of separating and storing foreign objects and organic matter. The water that is mechanically and biologically cleansed is then pumped into the sea. The resources in the wastewater are used to produce climate friendly energy in the form of electricity and biogas. The energy generated is also used for district heating for the supply network.