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Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2015

logo-ssawards-200Creating innovative solutions to solve the worldwide sanitation problem is what connects the four aspiring nominees for the Sarphati Sanitation Award for Young Entrepreneurs 2015. They are all inspirational examples of how the challenge of providing proper sanitation for everyone can be tackled, simply (Goal #6 of the Sustainable Development Goals) by taking a business approach. On Nov 2nd 2015, Mr. Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam, announced the winner of the 2015 Sarphati Sanitation Awards for Young Entrepreneurs as well as the Sarphati Sanitation Life Time Achievement Award.

In 2013, World Waternet, Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and Aqua for All initiated the biennial Sarphati Sanitation Award (SSA) to honor the outstanding contribution of individuals or organizations to the global sanitation challenge through entrepreneurship. The Sarphati Sanitation Awards are named after Dr. Samuel Sarphati, an industrious entrepreneur and health practitioner who started a profitable business in the 19th century to free Amsterdam of human waste by transporting it out of the city and to be used as fertilizer for crops such as wheat, which was in turn supplied to a low-cost bread factory. His initiatives greatly improved the quality of life of poor people in the city.

The Awards are endorsed by the Netherlands Water Partnership and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year, Bosman Water Management and New Venture Fund have joined the sponsorship team, enabling the awarding of a second prize, the Sarphati Sanitation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sarphati Sanitation Life Time Achievement Award

The Jury unanimously voted to award the 2015 Sarphati Sanitation Life Time Achievement Award to Dr. Kamal Kar, founder of the CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) Foundation. The Foundation helped create a paradigm shift that has positively influenced the behavior of millions of people. In thousands of villages throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, people have started building their own toilets and helping their peers to do the same, in order to make entire communities free of open defecation.

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Sarphati Sanitation Award 2015 for Young Entrepreneurs

The Sarphati Jury 2015 chose four promising Sanitation Business Initiatives to present themselves during the Amsterdam International Water Week, to inspire others to offer sanitation services for people at the Base of the Pyramid. Nominations were made by internationally reputable organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank.

The four nominees for the Award for Young Entrepreneurs were:

  • FINISH Society: Network of organizations, operating in 10 states in India producing one toilet every four minutes by offering households smart finance solutions for the construction of good quality shared or private toilets;
  • Samagra: Operates toilet blocks in India and stimulates hygienic behavior with a reward system;
  • ZanaAfrica: Provides adolescent girls in Kenya with sanitary pads so they can stay in school;
  • SafiSana: Collects toilet- and organic waste from slums in Accra, Ghana, to produce organic fertilizer and biogas.

Safi Sana was unanimously chosen as winner of the Sarphati Sanititation Award 2015 for Young Entrepreneurs. The organization from Ghana was selected by the Jury as an outstanding example of how the philosophy of Dr Sarphati is put into practice in developing countries by creating value from human waste for enriched soils and vegetable production, and renewable energy from biogas. Safi Sana is set up as a scalable model, designed as a blueprint for replication. Mr. Aart van den Beukel, Managing Director of Safi Sana, accepted the cheque of € 25.000,-.

The secretariat for the Sarphati Sanitation Awards of 2015 is hosted by Aqua for All based in The Hague. For questions or additional information please send an e-mail to Sarphati2015@aquaforall.org or call +31 (0) 70 3519 725.

Read more about the procedure, criteria and Samuel Sarphati.  

Winner 2013


In 2013 Sanergy won the first Sarphati Sanitation Award ever. Sanergy was established in 2010. Sanergy is a social enterprise dedicated to building healthy,logo-sanergy-winner2013 prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable to everyone -- starting in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. They installed their first toilet in the Mukuru kwa Reuben area of Nairobi on November 19, 2011.

Interview with David Auerbach, Co-founder of Sanergy, the winner of the Sarphati Sanitation Award 2013
Winning the prize money first of all gave them great access to a network. During the Amsterdam International Water Week in 2013 they were able to connect with all sorts of great practitioners, thought leaders and funders in the water and sanitation space. Getting prize money enabled them to build alternative distribution models, one of those are schools. They work with 40 schools, serving thousands of kids with hygienic sanitation for the first time and are now starting a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Nairobi City County to expand their work. Over the next three years their goal is to serve 150.000 people in Nairobi every single day with hygienic sanitation.

Watch the video with the interview:

For more information about Sanergy please visit their website and keep up to date.

The Awards are a great way of setting sanitation in the spotlight


Interview with Kenneth Comvalius, Managing Director World Waternet and Partner of the Sarphati Sanitation Awards