Prof. Michael Templeton, a Public Health Engineer, delivering the lecture
Prof. Michael Templeton, a Public Health Engineer, delivering the lecture

Don't dispose of faecal matter in water bodies — Researcher 

A Professor of Public Health Engineering, Michael Templeton, has advised people who still rely on latrine not to dispose of such waste in water bodies but rather adopt the "tiger worm toilet" principle where special worms are introduced into the faecal matter to prevent the container from getting full.

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Prof. Templeton, who is also a chartered civil engineer, said such faecal waste could also be turned into different types of products.

The tiger worm toilets contain composting worms in the pit that processes and digests the faeces, turning the raw sludge into vermicompost. 

Prof. Templeton, who is a lecturer at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, said among other products, people could benefit from fertilisers, oil and gas.

He said the initiative was important because many people who were not connected to sewage facilities usually dumped the waste in water bodies.

Prof. Templeton said currently, about 3.6 million people globally were unable to safely manage their sanitation situation.

Occasion 

The lecturer was sharing a research paper on "moving towards sustainable sanitation for all" at the Vice-Chancellor's occasional lecture series at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The occasional lecture allows researchers across the world to share their experiences with colleagues and chart a path towards resolving societal challenges.

Solutions

The public health Professor further said that currently a similar solution was being offered by a "Clean Team" in Kumasi, a system which worked similar to that of the Tiger toilet.

Prof. Templeton said tackling sanitation problems, especially on safe disposal of toilets, called for inter disciplinary connection that included social science, education, governance and finance.

He said such an approach was the panacea to meeting Sustainable Development Goal Six, which included achieving access to safe drinking water for all by 2030.

Largely, Prof. Templeton’s research focuses on addressing public health challenges related to water supply and sanitation.

He has collaborated with partners in some countries, including Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Sierra Leone, Nepal and India. 

About him 
Prof Templeton, who is also a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK, has served on expert advisory panels for a number of organisations, including the World Health Organisation, the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund and the Swedish Research Council.

Launch of research strategy

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, announced that the institution would launch a research strategy next month.

She said that the strategy would hinge on five pillars which would include building a synergy between academia and industry.

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