WASHKing - Improving access to decent toilets for low-income earners benefiting both the community and the environment.
WASHKing provides eco-friendly biodigester toilets to end open defecation and improve poor sanitation issue in low-income urban communities.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Greater Accra Region of Ghana and Volta Region of Ghana
WASHKing biodigester representation and different toilet interface.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Ghana faces sanitation crisis and defecation in the open, mainly in low-income urban areas, caused by inadequate access to improved toilets with a shocking 85 percent Ghanaians still lacking access with close to 4.8 million practicing open defecation (UN Ghana, 2017). This leads to 4,000 annual diarrhea death cases, loss of families’ productive economic hours, US$290 million of Ghana’s annual economic loses, water resources pollution, risks of sexual assault and missed schooling (UN Ghana, 2017, World Bank, 2012).
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
WASHKing manufactures, supplies and installs accessible and environmentally friendly biodigester toilets. The biodigester toilets involve a privy (superstructure) and substructure (called biodigester) which is built using materials such as bamboo, block and pre-cast slap. The biodigester only component is built to handle human waste for customers already having privy. The biodigester requires as little space as 2.6ft B×3ft H×5ft L. The toilets are built locally by local artisans using regionally available materials often requiring as little as 500ml of flushing water. The WASHKing technology uses a treatment system separating effluent from fecal solid and turning it into safe water for agriculture or landscaping. Also we have introduced a locally made biodegradable powder developed in India for digestion. The enterprise offers flexible payment terms, training on hygiene and after-sales services and toilets with disability-friendly features to ensure customer loyalty and accessibility.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
With WASHKing toilets, we achieved considerable triple bottom line impacts of social, environmental and economic in order to stimulate local economies, strengthen community resilience, and manage environmental resources soundly. Social impacts: 51 low-income urban households using improved WASHKing toilets on daily basis thus improving their health and productivity and that of neighbors; Trained 102 individuals directly, and 153 individuals indirectly,on safe sanitation and hygiene practices in low-income households. Environmental impacts: 51 households in low-income urban areas have benefited from supply of 30 improved WASHKing toilets contributing to eradicating open defecation and associated odor/air pollution. Saved over one million litres of drinking water. Economic impacts: 30 improved WASHKing toilets of average cost of 450 USD sold amounting to total revenue of 13,500 USD and 22 youths have been trained and engaged so far by the enterprise whose total earning equals 5,050 USD.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Revenue streams of our business model involves product sales, maintenance fee and training fee which is used to support and sustain the enterprise. WASHKing will not only directly sell to households and institutions with poor or no toilet access but will also serve both government and private sector institutions in the country via e.g. toilet construction contracts. Access to adequate sanitation facilities remains priorities of both the local and national government, as evidenced by many sector policies and initiatives undertaken. Besides, we will access development grants/loans and investment from venture capitalists and impact investors both in Ghana and abroad for financial sustainability. So far, our budget has consisted of Shareholders contribution- 60%; Earned Income from sales- 40%
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Actors like Biofil company builds toilet on rigid upfront payment mode, focus on high-income earners, lacks accessibility and poor after-care services leaving out low-income earners who rather lack access to toilets. With WASHKing, our main focus is on urban low-income earners and we offer flexible payment terms. We also work with local artisans and actors for easy accessibility and affordability. Importantly, we also offer responsive after-sales services which others are lacking.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
During my study in the UK I realized social, environmental and economic prospects of solving socioenvironmental problems. This idea endears me highly and became my passion. Poor sanitation and open defecation is a serious concern and I wanted to do something as it poses huge social, environmental and economic threats. The actual ah-ha moment came during my part-time work as a Toilet Sales Agent in Ghana on a project by an international NGO and my local government where I realized that the intervention depicted some elements of what I wanted to do by using business-based approach to solve deep socioenvironmental problems. In 2016, I decided to execute my idea knowing it will, among others, contribute to job creation and economic development, enhanced wellbeing and lessened environmental pollution both at local and national scales.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others