Market Need – Sanitation in the Slums
Approximately 8 million people in Kenya’s slums lack access to basic sanitation. The resulting exposure to waterborne diseases poses a major threat to public health. Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death in Kenyan children, while other health problems such as worms, cholera, and bladder infections remain widespread. The high population density of Kenya’s slums, combined with the lack of sewage or plumbing infrastructure makes sanitation a significant, multi-faceted problem.
Investment – Sanergy
Sanergy is a franchisor of small-scale high-quality sanitation centers in Kenya’s urban slums that provide the raw materials for a range of high-margin products including organic fertilizer and energy. Sanergy’s systematic approach to the entire urban slum sanitation value chain offers an innovative, profitable way to address this acute need in densely populated slum communities, beginning in the greater Nairobi area.
Sanergy builds a network of high-quality “Fresh Life” branded toilets and franchises them to local micro-entrepreneurs. Sanergy employees collect waste from the toilets daily and deliver it to a central processing facility where the waste is converted into organic fertilizer for farmers. Sanergy’s model ensures increased access to improved sanitation facilities in slums while also providing a safe way to treat human waste and capitalize on its inherent value. It also creates income and asset ownership for local residents.
Since their pilot phase in November 2011, Sanergy has scaled to more than 200 franchised toilets in three of Nairobi’s slum areas, which average 50 uses per toilet per day. The company has over 10,000 users daily. With our investment, Sanergy is building the infrastructure to serve over 50,000 low-income customers every day, accelerate waste conversion, and ramp up the production of nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and other byproducts.