RES-EAU Scholars

RES-EAU > Scholars > Rita Namoe Tabi

Affiliated CEA :

  • RWESCK Regional Center for Water and Environmental Sanitation, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Title :
Removal of contaminants from groundwater by membrane filtration for a safe drinking water supply.

RES-EAU > Scholars > Rita Namoe Tabi

Start-up year: 2020

Problem statement:
Access to drinking water is a fundamental human right. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), only 36% of Ghanaians had access to safe drinking water in 2017. This suggests that a large proportion of Ghanaians drink unsafe water, and this is a danger to public health, as around 80% of human illnesses are caused by drinking unsafe water. 

A report entitled "The Toxic Truth: Children's Exposure to Lead Pollution Undermines a Generation of Future Potential", produced by UNICEF and Pure Earth in July 2020, also suggests that one in three children worldwide, or 800 million children, have around 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood. This concentration of lead can lead to reduced intellectual, behavioral and learning abilities in children, according to the World Health Organization. The report cites drinking water as one of the sources of lead in children.

Conventional membrane technologies available to remove all contaminants from water operate under high pressure. Consequently, a significant amount of energy from a stable source is required to operate them. These requirements make conventional membrane water filtration technologies unsuitable for most developing countries, such as Ghana and Burkina Faso. These membranes are also prone to fouling, have low flux and a short service life. These drawbacks are mainly due to inadequate pre-filtration of the feed water, the materials used to synthesize the membranes, and the synthesis process, which results in a membrane structure with different pore sizes, pore distribution and fiber diameters.

All these problems point to the need to develop new technologies to provide safe drinking water. Membrane water filtration technologies are one of the energy-efficient ways of making water potable. Therefore, this study seeks to develop membranes using locally available materials that would operate with less dependence on a significant energy supply, have high flux, less prone to fouling and a long service life.

Expected result / Main objective :
This study aims to remove contaminants from groundwater using a new composite membrane filtration system developed from locally available materials to make groundwater potable.

Contribution / added value to the project :
This project aims to make the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK), and by extension, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) a hub for groundwater filtration using membrane technology.

Once this project has been successfully completed, a water treatment unit will be developed that can be installed in the drinking water supply systems of small towns, to treat the water of residents. A number of publications should be developed from this research, at least two.

Thanks to these publications, research results will be made available to the international scientific community to serve as a reference point for future research.

Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng, RWESCK

Co-supervisor :
Frank Ofori Agyemang, RWESCK

Other contributors on doctoral supervision:
Harouna Karambiri, 2iE (Burkina Faso)
Felix Kofi Abagale, WACWISA
Patrick Boakye, RWESCK