Left to right: Radu Ban (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Babar Kabir (BRAC) and Bernadette Blom (Goodwell Investments), panelists at the workshop Making Sustainable Business out of Sanitation. Photo: Peter McIntyre
The business case for sanitation in developing countries is testified by the thousands of small scale entrepreneurs springing up to tackle problems of open defecation and process faecal waste and urine.
Will these businesses be profitable and sustainable? Can they address the huge scale of the problem? Will they address the issues in rural areas as well as urban areas? These questions are much harder to answer.
The evidence from an event at the International Water Week leading up to the Sarphati Sanitation Award was mixed. The workshop Making Sustainable Business out of Sanitation, showed a high level of innovation and enthusiasm for businesses to address two of the most intractable public health and environment issues of our age – the 2.5 billion people who don’t have access to safe hygienic toilets and sanitation, and how to deal with human waste.
The Sarphati Sanitation Award is a biennial international award honouring the outstanding contribution of an individual or organisation to the global sanitation and public health challenge through entrepreneurship.
The first Sarphati Sanitation Award will be presented on 5 November 2013 during the International Water Week in Amsterdam. The winner will receive a a figurine designed by the Dutch artist Marte Röling and a cash prize of 50,000 euros (US$ 65,000), sponsored by World Waternet and Aqua for All.
Samuel Sarphati (by Sybrand Altmann) / Wikipedia
Samuel Sarphati (1813–66) was a Dutch general practitioner and a pioneering public health and sanitation entrepreneur. Sarphati helped to eradicate cholera from Amsterdam before the end of the 19th century. His various initiatives included a refuse collection service and a bread factory. In 1847, Sarphati set up a a company that collected and transformed the human waste into manure for the agricultural sector.
The Sarphati nominees will be judged according to five criteria:
- an outstanding track record in the field of sanitation
- inspiring new generations to become involved in finding sustainable solutions to sanitation
- proven experience in linking different partners from the public and the private sector to improve sanitation
- contributions to ground-breaking entrepreneurial and multi-sectoral innovations in the field of sanitation related to public health
- (expected) contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Nomination deadline: 15 September 2013
Download Nomination Form and Guidelines
For more information, visit www.internationalwaterweek.com
or email the Sarphati Sanitation Award Secretariat: