We all know the problem, our solution isn't hard at all to understand: we just figured out a way to profitably pay people to use a toilet without them having to do anything.
Understanding What's Going On
47 million people in Nigeria (23% of the population) open defecate. This problem causes health issues, contaminates drinking water, and is one of the primary reasons for diseases like diarrhea which kills hundreds of thousands of people every single year. It hasn’t been solved yet for a multitude of overlapping reasons.
solving the problem
We provide users with the infrastructure (toilets) to be able to defecate indoors safely. After routine collection, we convert their feces and urine into charcoal and ammonium sulfate to be sold in local markets. The profits made are returned to the family, to incentivize usage.
WHAT ARE THE BEST CURRENT APPROACHES?
The Status Quo
Approach: Converting feces to ash and urine to water.
The Problem: While the nano-membrane toilet does perform onsite sanitation (thereby eliminating any sewage management costs), they don’t produce any material that is economically viable which makes the solution dependent on external funding in order for it to be scaled.
Approach: Utilizing worms to feed off the feces to produce agricultural compost.
The Problem: The first problem we see is that relying on worms to generate agricultural waste depends heavily on the conditions that the worms are placed in. This makes utilizing them unsustainable. Additionally, agricultural compost has almost no economical value when produced from feces.
Approach: Collecting feces from multiple families and converting it into charcoal.
The Problem: In order to fund the carbonization process, they charge the people who utilize their toilets. Not only this but the people who they charge don’t receive any money from the generated charcoal.
Current Progress & Help Needed
Currently we've been able to:
1.) Raise $10,000 in grants & donations to help us build out our prototype!
2.) Get 18 families in Jos, Nigeria (our pilot location) to agree to use our toilet
3.) Conduct our urine to ammonium sulfate expirement.
4.) 3D print and successfully tested our toilet shell.
We now are at the point in which we're fundraising $20,000 for our pilot in Jos, Nigeria (see breakdown of finances & pilot deck here) to help us start our pilot on the ground in Jos, Nigeria.