Our Portfolio: Five projects tackling the sanitation challenge

Published on: 16/04/2019




Our Portfolio: Five projects tackling the sanitation challenge

Photo credit: Loowatt

In April last year, TRANSFORM launched an Open Call inviting social entrepreneurs to share their impactful projects with us in return for support and funding. After the call, we are pleased to showcase our five active projects, which address the global sanitation challenge.

Aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, these five projects look to tackle the unmet needs of millions of low-income households in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We introduce you to the five projects whose aim is to provide safe and affordable sanitation to underserved communities.

  1. Loowatt

With a locally run subsidiary in urban Madagascar, Loowatt has developed a unique toilet system with patented sealing technology and polymer film to create a waterless “flush”. It provides the experience of a flush toilet without using water, and manages to lock in odour without water or chemicals. The waste is then treated in value-generating treatment systems. The support from TRANSFORM will help Loowatt refine a scalable business model that can be replicated by local partners in other low-income markets. We will help them address challenges such as service logistics and payment collections, market development, and health and wellbeing branding to increase users and open new revenue streams.

  1. Pit Vidura

In low-income urban areas of Rwanda, the common practice was to manually empty the latrines and dump the waste into the environment. Pit Vidura promotes effective, safe and affordable waste management practices by providing pit latrine emptying services in the capital of Kigali. Since 2016, the company has been excavating the waste and transporting it by truck to the city’s dumpsite. So far it has provided over 1,200 Rwandan households with this service, and with TRANSFORM’s support, it hopes to scale its services further. In the coming months, they will test supply and demand side interventions to increase business efficiency, and pilot mechanisms that license Pit Vidura technologies to existing service providers.

  1. Saraplast

Turning old buses into bathrooms: this is the idea of Saraplast to provide clean, safe toilets for women in India. The buses, refurbished to become fully equipped restrooms, are placed at popular locations in the city of Pune. They run mostly on solar power and provide access to diaper-changing station, sanitary pads, drinking water and space for breastfeeding for a small cost. There is a female attendant who runs the bus and ensures that it is safe and clean for all its female users. TRANSFORM is funding the project to explore additional revenue streams that can ensure the financial viability of the project. So far, a café has doubled the revenue received in one bus and this approach will be replicated in other buses. The future vision is to position the buses as safe and private spaces where women can receive information, diagnostics and advice on female health issues which are often not easily available or too expensive. 

Ten buses are now operational, and with TRANSFORM’s support, the company wants to improve its services and encourage more people to use the toilet. One toilet receives an average of 150 women per day.


  1. SJP

Developed by Water and Life Bangladesh (W&L), Shobar Jonno Pani (SJP) (meaning Water for All) is a mini-utility in underserved urban areas of Dhaka and Chittagong that provides paid services for water supply, primary solid waste collection and sanitation. Having already developed the water provision, the project focuses on providing access to a paid sanitation service for improved latrines and sewerage systems. The latrines use Biofil technology, whereby worms are used to decrease desludging frequency. TRANSFORM will fund the scale-up pilot project that already benefits 100 people in Dhaka – hoping to increase to 15,000 beneficiaries.Please click here for a video showing life in the slums and highlighting Water and Life’s work.

  1. SWEEP

Also providing access to adequate sanitation services in Bangladesh is SWEEP. It was created in 2015 by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) to enable access to affordable and sustainable faecal sludge emptying services for low-income households in informal settlements across the country. So far, it has benefited more than 480,000 people. By improving its marketing and sales model to increase demand, the support from TRANSFORM will help SWEEP reach more people in low-income communities. TRANSFORM will also assist the development of a franchising model, so that SWEEP can be replicated in more cities across Bangladesh.

These five projects now have the support of TRANSFORM, as part of our mission to enable access to safe and affordable sanitation to the 2.3 billion people that do not have access to basic sanitation1.

For more information about these and other projects that TRANSFORM currently supports, please visit Our Portfolio.


1UN Stats, High-Level Political Forum Goals In Focushttps://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2018/goal-06