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Featured Photo: A fresh approach to sanitation in Kenya

Photo, children standing in front of a Fresh Life toilet in their community in Kenya, Sanergy, OPIC, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, sanitation, Fresh Life toilet, global sanitation crisis, fertilizer, animal feed, World Toilet Day, public diplomacy, impact investing, Africa investment


In a slum near Nairobi, schoolchildren gather outside a series of toilets that have brought modern sanitation to a region where inadequate sewage is a leading cause of disease. These Fresh Life toilets are made by Sanergy Inc., an OPIC partner that was founded by a group of graduate students at MIT’s Sloan School of business to take a fresh approach to the global sanitation crisis.

Sanergy developed a toilet that captures waste in cartridges, which are regularly collected and used to produce fertilizer and animal feed. To date, the business has introduce more than 1,400 toilets in regions that reach about 50,000 people in and around Nairobi. OPIC financing is helping Sanergy Inc. introduce more of its toilets and expand its animal feed production capacity.

November 19 is World Toilet Day, which highlights the global sanitation crisis and the ways that inadequate sanitation contributes not only to poor health but also impacts school attendance and poses a significant cost to local economies. Less than half the world’s population has regular access to clean toilet and the World Health Organization says that raw sewage in pit latrines, street gutters and open bodies of water is a major cause of disease from diarrheal illnesses to hepatitis, typhoid and polio.




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