In developing countries, small-scale economically feasible technologies that combine wastewater treatment and energy production can simultaneously protect water resources and enhance energy availability. Anaerobic wastewater treatment offers improved energy conversion with potential reduction in GHG emissions. The downside of anaerobic treatment in that the CH4 produced can offset any reductions in CO2 emissions if it is released in the environment. Anaerobic treatment becomes favourable when treating effluents higher in concentrations of BOD and COD. A technology to recover dissolved methane would make anaerobic treatment favourable at nearly all effluent strengths.
There is a high national priority to address the problem of poorly or untreated treated wastewater discharge in urban areas given the extent of pollution, especially in Lake Victoria basin. The NAMA will assist in reducing pollution loads from agro-processing factories on surface water systems, especially the Lake Victoria basin.
The NAMA seeks to increase efficiency and value addition prospects for wastewater treatment of agro-processing firms by establishing an integrated wastewater treatment process using both an anaerobic and aerobic digester with sequencing batch reactor. From the two processes, GHGs especially methane will be captured in the form of biogas and using a generator converted to electricity, and/or used directly for cooking and lighting where the volumes of biogas generated are small. Also, the process will lead to generation of large volumes of bio-slurry that can be used for producing bio-fertilizers, while the treated wastewater can be re-used in some of the targeted facilities.