SUMMARY: Sanergy builds healthy, prosperous communities by making safe sanitation, accessible and affordable for everyone, forever – starting with the urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya. To achieve this, we go beyond simply providing access to toilets, and ensure that human waste is safely removed from the community, treated and converted into valuable end-products, such as organic fertilizer and animal feed. We accomplish this by delivering customer-centric sanitation products and services that meet the needs of residents living in slums and by demonstrating profitable markets for sludge-derived end-products. In concert, these activities lead to a financially sustainable safe sanitation value chain for urban slums, and thus a replicable model for scale to other emerging market cities.
PROBLEM SPACE: 4.1 billion people in the developing world lack access to adequate sanitation. The lack of basic infrastructure makes the crisis particularly acute in slums, where populations will double to 2 billion in the next 15 years. In Kenya, despite a constitutional right to basic sanitation, 8 million slum residents still have to resort to unhygienic and undignified sanitation solutions, resulting in 4 million tons of fecal sludge being dumped untreated into waterways each year – polluting the environment, spreading disease, and destroying community health. Millennium Development Goal 7(c), which aims to cut the proportion of those without sustainable access to sanitation by 50% by the end of 2015, will fall extremely short and represents one of the greatest failures of the MDGs. In Kenya, at current rates, complete sanitation coverage will take 150 years. The economic impact is also profound: the loss of productivity due to illness costs Kenya’s GDP $1 million / day.
SOLUTION: Sanergy franchises a network of affordable high-quality sanitation facilities, Fresh Life Toilets, which are operated by residents in urban informal settlements– known as Fresh Life Operators (FLOs). The Fresh Life Toilet, designed with human-centered design principles, is compact (enabling easy installation in densely built-up slums), waterless, and attractive. It is constructed locally with local materials. Sanergy provides the FLOs access to finance, business training and support to help them thrive. Sanergy ensures the collection of the waste on a regular basis. The Fresh Life Toilet is equipped with sealed cartridges that are easily and safely removed from the FLT. The waste collection team collects the cartridges and provides clean, empty ones. The waste is removed from the community via a network of handcarts and trucks. The waste is treated at a centralized processing facility. It is converted into a portfolio of useful byproducts, predominantly organic fertilizer, through proven, safe technologies. The fertilizer produced is nutrient-rich, pathogen-free and increases crop yields by 30%. The fertilizer is sold to Kenyan farmers, increasing their agricultural productivity and incomes, as well as addressing food security challenges.
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