Cablegate: Nigeria: U.S. Epa Support for Landfill Methane Recovery
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #2064/01 2911416
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171416Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4218
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 0098
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 002064
DEPARTMENT FOR OES/ENV FOR PRATHER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG ECON TRGY KRVC TPHY NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: U.S. EPA SUPPORT FOR LANDFILL METHANE RECOVERY
1. Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)
Landfill Methane Outreach Program Manager, Swarupa Ganguli, attended
the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) from October
6-9 in Abuja. She delivered a presentation on "Landfill Gas to
Energy Experience in the U.S. and other Countries," and visited the
EPA's Methane to Market (M2M) Partnership Program projects in Abuja.
(Note: Nigeria is the only M2M partner country in Africa. End
Note). EPA inventory assistance has provided Abuja city officials
with useful information to better manage the city's dump sites,
advance energy security, and mitigate adverse environmental and
health impacts. The ensuing U.S.-Nigeria collaboration may lead to
involvement by U.S. companies in methane gas recovery and
utilization for energy generation. End Summary.
2. Ganguli highlighted the objectives and benefits of the M2M
program, which is to recover and use landfill methane for power
generation, thereby advancing energy security and economic growth
while improving local air quality and public health. She not only
outlined the scientific, technical, and logistical steps involved in
establishing a successful methane to market program, but also
discussed current USG assistance efforts with Nigeria. The Managing
Director of the Lagos West Management Authority (LWMA), who attended
the same conference, noted that waste management and associated
environmental concerns cause significant challenges and
opportunities in Nigeria, particularly in the major population
centers such as Lagos, where an estimated 18 million people live.
According to Ganguli, the EPA has funded the first inventory of
Nigerian dumpsites in order to evaluate the potential for methane
gas recovery and utilization for energy generation. The dump sites
are Mpape, Gosa, Ajata, and Kubwa in the Abuja area and Olushosun
and Abul Egba in the Lagos area. Based on these initial
assessments, Ganguli commented that Mpapa is seen as a possible
candidate for a further feasibility study. She reported that in
late September, the EPA granted a local Nigerian NGO $90,000 to
conduct further studies at Mpapa and other sites.
Mpape: Potential Site for Methane Recovery
3. On October 7, 2008 ESTHOff accompanied Ganguli and the director
of a local environmental NGO on a site visit to the Mpape landfill
located at the outskirts of Abuja. The site was opened in 1989 and
closed in 2005 after it ran out of space. Engineer Hassan
Dogon-Daji, the Director of Waste Management for the Abuja
Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), provided a tour of the site
and an adjoining transit center, which is under construction.
According to Dogon-Daji, the Mpape landfill was an abandoned quarry
before it was turned into a landfill, but it had not been proper
lined to protect against toxic seepage.
4. The team noted that decomposing buried waste is visibly producing
leachate, which is collecting in a pond nearby and likely seeping
into and polluting the groundwater and a nearby stream. Many of the
nearby residents rely on this same groundwater. According to
Dogon-Daji, although samples were collected and sent six months ago
to the Abuja Water Board for testing, results are still unavailable.
As an interim measure, ESTHOff suggested periodic collection and
transportation of the leachate for treatment at the city's water
treatment plant, which Dogon-Daji promised to facilitate. The team
also observed gas bubbling through cracks in the ground, a possible
sign of ongoing methane generation.
Gosa: Abuja's New Dumpsite
5. After the closure of the Mpape dumpsite in 2005, Abuja city
officials opened a new 90 hectares dumpsite in Gosa, an hour's drive
from the city. Dogon-Daji reported that Abuja city has developed a
plan for converting this facility into a proper sanitary landfill.
(Note: The plan has yet to be funded by the federal government
before it can be implemented. End Note). The city plans to use
Mpape as a waste sorting and processing facility before final
transport to Gosa. In addition, under the plan, the city will
introduce proper trash sorting at the source, starting with major
businesses, governmental facilities and eventually moving to
6. Ganguli's participation in the IREC showcased USG assistance in
tackling waste management problems and mitigating the associated
environmental and health ramifications. EPA inventory assistance
has provided Abuja city officials with useful information for better
managing the city's dumpsites and mitigating their adverse
environmental and health impact. There may be future additional
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opportunities for U.S. companies to engage in methane gas recovery
and energy generation in both Abuja and Lagos.
7. Ganguli did not clear this cable before departing.
8. This cable was coordinated with Consulate Lagos.