An innovative and environmentally-friendly toilet with no need for flushing water solves sanitation problems while lifting living standards in Africa and Asia.
Stromstad, Sweden, 6 September 2018 - ECOLOO, a Swedish innovation, joins Business Call to Action (BCtA) today with a pledge to bring their sustainable toilets to one million people in South Africa and Ghana, while also providing business or job opportunities to another 500,000 low income earners, specifically targeting single mothers, farmers and youth in South East Asia, by 2021.
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. Over 200 companies, ranging from multinationals to social enterprises, and working in 68 countries, have responded to the BCtA by committing to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions in developing countries through access to markets, financial services, affordable healthcare, water and sanitation, education and other critical services.
Poor sanitation and a lack of sewage infrastructure in low income communities such as urban slums, rural areas and refugee camps exposes individuals to water borne diseases which kill thousands every single day. Every year, nearly 11 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday mostly from preventable causes - approximately 30,000 children per day. Another 300 million children suffer from illnesses caused by polluted water, poor nutrition and inadequate health services and care.
To help reverse these alarming statistics, ECOLOO has developed an innovative way to treat human waste by breaking down excreta into ashes and converting urine into organic liquid fertiliser that is pathogen free, yet rich with nutrition. In addition, ECOLOO’s toilets are environmentally friendly, odourless, waterless, sewage free, energy free and low maintenance. The toilets do not require water for flushing (water can still be used for hygiene purposes and washing), which also overcomes the issue of water scarcity in dry, rural communities with uncertain rainfall.
To date, ECOLOO has sold more than 1200 toilets for use in disaster relief centres, refugee camps, urban slums and schools in Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone. The company ensures local contexts are taken into account and adjusts prices to fit the market and people’s financial situations. ECOLOO has also generated jobs and improved livelihoods for those living at the Base of the Economic Pyramid (BoP) by introducing a franchise model which provides people with social innovation, business skills, character building and market building that help them generate their passive income successfully. All ECOLOO related business and technical training will be delivered in person by ECOLOO’s certified professional team specializing in various skillsets and experience.
Under its BCtA commitments, ECOLOO will tailor its product to make it affordable for low income rural communities in Ghana and South Africa. To purchase a toilet, individuals pay 40 percent upfront and the remainder through monthly repayments.
“We would engage local community with low income – especially women and single mothers – by giving them the opportunity to invest in our eco toilet through their own capital or microfinance. They may then rent the toilets to the public and maintain it to earn passive income from the rental and the by-product liquid fertilizer generated in the system. The unique toilet design also provides sanitation comfort for refugee camps and other disconnected communities, improving their health and quality of life,” said ECOLOO Founder & CEO, Imad Agi.
“Poor sanitation and the spread of disease are longstanding problems which limit the prospects of low income communities, so it is encouraging to see such an innovative product bringing better hygiene and money making opportunities to them,” BCtA Programme Manager Paula Pelaez said.
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BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About ECOLOO: A Swedish invention, ECOLOO, eliminates poverty through selling affordable, sustainable toilets that improve sanitation and living conditions for people globally. The company uses inventive technology and education, and builds marketplace opportunities locally. ECOLOO has been recognised with many awards including the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council Innovation Award in 2018 and as one of the United Nations Foundation’s Top 10 Global Innovators and Solution Providers in 2016.