Eco-Friendly Toilets Improving Slum Sanitation

January 9, 2020

In Nairobi, almost 95 per cent of all solid waste is untreated and ends up in local waterways. This degrades water supplies and causes damage to the lives and livelihoods of communities downstream. Sanergy, a Kenyan company, has developed an innovative and profitable way to address this environmental and health hazard.

ITS ECO-FRIENDLY, low-cost, and high-quality sanitation toilets are franchised to local partners – or operators – who receive training, access to financing, ongoing operational and marketing support, and a daily waste collection service. The operators are responsible for maintaining and cleaning the facilities. Sanergy’s business offers both a systematic and integrated business approach to improving slum sanitation, and a safer, more hygienic approach to treating human waste.


of all solid waste in Nairobi is untreated and ends up in local waterways.

Sanergy’s development effects are remarkable

  • Sanergy’s business model generates higher local levels of income, by enabling franchise holders to achieve an annual average income of USD 2,000.
  • Asset ownership levels are also increased among operators.
  • The fertilizer used by farmers is helping to increase food yields and improving soil resilience.
  • Sanergy’s operations currently serve nearly 30,000 people in Nairobi’s urban slums every day, and its client base is expanding rapidly.
  • Between 30 and 40 new facilities are sold each month.
  • The company removes more than 50 metric tons of human waste each week.

Sanergy collects the waste and delivers it to a central processing facility where it is converted into organic fertilizer that can be used by farmers.

Norfund’s investment in Sanergy was made through the Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund in 2014. Thus far, Novastar Ventures has invested USD 425,000 in Sanergy. Further investment is anticipated dependent on Sanergy’s growth.