Portfolio Stories | Sanivation, the integrated sanitation service in East Africa

Published on: 23/11/2017




Portfolio Stories | Sanivation, the integrated sanitation service in East Africa

With all eyes on the sanitation challenge this month, one of the projects TRANSFORM supports as part of its mission to help improve sanitation in underserved communities is Sanivation.

Sanivation is a sanitation service provider that delivers clean, safe and efficient sanitation hygiene products and services to communities in East Africa. In the belief that a toilet is only as good as its maintenance1, the enterprise installs modern and portable toilets inside people’s homes for free, and charges a monthly free to service them twice a week.

Then, instead of dumping the waste, they collect it, treat it, and transform it into an affordable and environmentally sustainable source of fuel – a clean burning alternative to charcoal – at Sanivation’s own processing plant.

The resulting briquettes have lower carbon monoxide emissions than traditional charcoal, used widely in households across Africa, and no smoke, which protects children’s lungs and allows families to cook indoors without inhaling toxic fumes2.

This end-to-end service also addresses the deforestation issue in East Africa - for every ton of briquettes sold, 88 trees are saved – and helps families save money, as the briquettes burn twice as long as charcoalal3.

Through this dependable, user-centred and vertically integrated sanitation service, Sanivation has managed to address the full sanitation value chain and allow families in urbanising communities in East Africa to live in healthy, dignified conditions.

Sanivation and TRANSFORM

Sanivation developed a low-infrastructure, systems-based approach with scale and replication in mind. To evolve its proposition, Sanivation has joined forces with TRANSFORM to include hand-washing stations with the in-home toilet provision.

By tapping into its existing network of toilet service representatives and its team’s experience in deploying service delivery models, Sanivation hopes the partnership will help institute hand-washing as the normal behaviour after visiting the toilet.

To achieve this, TRANSFORM supported them to test the soap delivery model. The hope is that soap delivery will improve client satisfaction with Sanivation’s service and bolster the success of their offering.

One of the key findings of the project was that customer satisfaction was high with 80% of households and 90% of schools renewing their subscription to the soap delivery service. However, revenues are currently too low for the number of customers. Sanivation will re-validate the soap delivery service model once they reach 500 households.

“The valuable insights we are gaining on service logistics optimisation and evaluation metrics are critical to ensuring a successful execution of bundled hand-washing products with our in-home toilets,” said Andrew Foote, CEO and Co-Founder of Sanivation. “It is our hope that with these insights, we can continue to scale this programme and provide a cost-effective product to improve hygiene for our clients.”

Sanivation aims to reach one million people throughout East Africa by 2020, providing clean and efficient sanitation services along with the hand-washing station. An important step in hand-washing access and practice, it is hoped that, by demonstrating the model’s commercial success, other last-mile distributors will be able to replicate the approach.

Fast Company, This Toilet-As-A-Business Startup Is Turning Kenyan Poop Into Fuel Briquettes: https://www.fastcompany.com/3051149/this-toilet-as-a-business-startup-is-turning-kenyan-poop-into-fuel-briquettes