We take our commitment to protecting the environment seriously. From the very moment we started designing the buildings for our campus, we have been intentional about staying green. From the stones on our walls, to the water running through our taps, we have embraced the best environmental practices. Here is a snapshot of some of the work we are doing to make this happen.
With no access to the national water supply grid, we developed plans to ensure our campus had access to clean, safe water. We started with a borehole that tapped into the springs running underneath the hills of Berekuso; to complement this, we designed our roofs to harvest rainwater, creating additional water storage across campus that currently has a capacity of about 100,000 gallons of rainwater, with plans to keep expanding. All our water sources run through a 3-phase filtration system, and are tested every month, before it runs through our taps for drinking.
We not only focus on finding sources of clean water, but also on conserving as much water as possible. In all our campus bathrooms for example, we installed efficient flush toilets that use 50% less water than the average. We also designed our biodigester system to filter out nutrient-rich effluent, which we use to water our gardens.
Our water system has received great recognition, serving as a model for other institutions looking to manage water more efficiently.
Towards building a cleaner campus, we implemented a biodigester system that greatly reduces the volume of waste coming from Ashesi’s bathrooms. We took it a step further, using biogas created from the digestion process for powering university kitchens, and treated, nutrient-rich effluent, for watering our gardens.
University trash is also separated, with organic waste being removed and processed for animal feed. In addition, we continue to encourage the campus community to drink more tap water and use refill bottles, to cut down on plastic waste.
All campus buildings are designed to make the most use of natural sunlight, and conserve power by reducing reliance on light bulbs. However, we believe we can do a lot more with energy management on campus. We are engaged with stakeholders to identify ways of increasing renewable energy use on campus.
Helping build a cleaner Berekuso
We continue to work together with the leadership of the Berekuso township, to encourage the townspeople to care more about their environment. In February 2015, we jointly organized the biggest cleanup in Berekuso for years, clearing over a decade of mismanaged waste from the town’s public spaces, and implementing systems for sustaining a cleaner town.