Wastewater Sludge Europe

Calling all sanitation entrepreneurs!

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

The Sarphati Sanitation Challenge is looking for promising market-based sanitation solutions on their path to scale.

Addressing sanitation-health nexus

Do you have a viable, scalable and locally-embedded sanitation solution? Do you believe in accelerating access to safe sanitation for all?

Then the Sarphati Sanitation Challenge could be for you!

Launched by Aqua for All, World Waternet and Accenture, the challenge is supporting promising market-based sanitation solutions on their path to scale.

“If we do not act now, basic universal sanitation will not be reached until 2042.”

The theme for this year’s challenge is ‘Sanitation and Health’ and the aim is to highlight how entrepreneurial solutions are bridging key gaps and finding opportunities along the sanitation-health nexus.

This includes improved measuring of sanitation impacts on health outcomes, data/tech innovations, safe disposal of waste, healthcare and strategic partnerships.

“If we do not act now, basic universal sanitation will not be reached until 2042,” said the organisers.

Who was Samuel Sarphati?

Entrepreneur, chemist and health practitioner Samuel Sarphati (1813-1866) is credited with a revolution in Dutch public health.

Formerly known as ‘The Beauty with Bad Breath’, Amsterdam wasn’t always the clean and well-run city it is today. In the 1800s the city’s streets were littered with excrement, domestic and street refuse, waste products from markets and abattoirs and dead animals.

Sarphati was convinced that public health could be positively influenced by improving living conditions. He arranged for the first waste- and manure-processing company to be set up to collect street refuse and process it into manure suitable for agricultural land.

Bringing together different parties, he essentially initiated one of the first public-private partnerships (PPP) to deliver waste treatment infrastructure in the city.

Previous winners

Initially starting in 2013 as the Sarphati Sanitation Awards, the most recent awards were presented during the Opening Ceremony of the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) in 2019.

The Sarphati Sanitation Award for Lifetime Achievement was honoured to Jockin Arputham, the late founder of Slum Dwellers International. Arputham sadly passed away in 2018, after decades of fighting for slum dwellers’ rights and for improving sanitation in slums around the world.

Savita Sonawane and Sharmila Gimonkar accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Arputham.

The Sarphati Sanitation Award for Promising Entrepreneur’s nominees were Live Clean Initiatives, Tiger Toilet, and X-Runner. “These organisations stood out for their commitment to sanitation and success in providing solutions for their communities,” according to the organisers.

For the first time ever, the award resulted in a tie and went to X-Runner from Peru and Tiger Toilet from India.

Challenge details

The 2021 Sarphati Sanitation Challenge applications will be judged based on the following criteria: innovation, improved access to sanitation, health impacts, scalability, readiness and sustainability.

Solutions must be designed for and/or implemented in low-and middle-income regions and winners will receive:

  • Expert business training and tailor-made coaching from Accenture
  • Platforms and access to the Amsterdam International Water Week and Stockholm World Water Week
  • A chance to win the grand prize of €100,000 for implementation of their solution, and additional Accenture support after the Challenge.

- Entrepreneurs who are looking to strengthen and grow their sanitation solution can check that their initiative meets all eligibility criteria before applying, and can apply by June 5th 2021: https://aquaforall.org/sarphati/

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