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Sanergy

An estimated 2.5 billion people, more than a third of the global population, lack adequate sanitation. Two million die each year of diarrheal disease. The problems are particularly acute in Kenya, where 10 million people live in informal settlements, 80 percent of which do not have adequate sanitation.

Sanergy is a business and sanitation initiative arising out of the informal settlements of Nairobi, where there is nearly a complete lack of sanitation infrastructure. It began with the ambition to create a closed-loop system, starting with a network of easy-to-maintain, low-cost pay toilets called Fresh Life. These are maintained by locals as for-profit businesses. The waste that is collected from the sanitation stations is brought to a central facility and processed into fertilizer, which is then sold to commercial farms.

Sanergy has expanded to solve all sorts of waste management challenges such as organic waste, market waste, and solid waste. They work with municipalities to provide safe, and affordable access to non-sewered sanitation solutions to their residents – starting with Nairobi. To date, Sanergy has built a network of 3,500 sanitation units that affordably provide safe sanitation to over 140,000 urban residents every single day.

These products solve yet another critical challenge that our world faces today – food insecurity and changing climatic conditions. Even though 80% of Kenyans rely on agriculture for their livelihood, sustainable supply of quality agricultural inputs is lacking. Feed millers/livestock farmers face significant shortages of proteins, and in particular, animal-based proteins, while horticultural farmers lack organic fertilizers for their crops. In fact, poor soil health has been named among the top challenges causing low farm yield for most farmers. Sanergy currently removes and upcycles 12,000 MT of waste, and are serving 1,000+ farmers who see a 30% increase in yields from using Sanergy’s agricultural inputs.

In scaling their circular economy solution in Nairobi and beyond, Sanergy has launched Citywise Advisory Services that helps cities achieve citywide, inclusive sanitation cost-effectively and equitably in order to meet the needs of the hardest-to-reach areas. In addition, they are building the largest Organics Recycling Factory in East Africa with a capacity for processing 75,000 T of waste per year.