With South Africans facing uncertainty around future water supply, particularly in the drought-stricken Western Cape, a local toilet manufacturer has received the 2017 Southern African Company of the Year award from research firm Frost & Sullivan for its efforts to save water.
Enviro Loo has created a sustainable sanitation solution with no reliance on stretched water resources, while eliminating pollution of the surrounding landscape through its zero-discharge system.
One Enviro Loo can save between 300 000 ℓ/y and 650 000 ℓ/y of water.
"There is an ongoing sanitation crisis in the Southern African region, with groundwater contamination causing serious health fatalities on a daily basis. Further, potable water is still often used for sanitation purposes, exacerbating already severe water shortages," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Laura Caetano.
"Enviro Loo's dry sanitation toilet system is a waterless, zero-discharge system that addresses these problems and can be deployed in rural and less-developed areas where such large-scale sanitation solutions are desperately required."
The containerised Enviro Loo toilet functions through an evaporation and dehydration process, and requires no pipes, drainage or flushing system.
This provides communities with access to dignified, safe and effective sanitation.
Further, the company's business model engages the community by furthering job creation through employing and training selected community members to service and maintain the units.
These community members are supplied with mobile phones and the apparatus required to maintain locally installed systems.
Enviro Loo has also developed the Loo Solve app, which provides a maintenance schedule, buyer information, global positioning system location of each system, and a live asset management tracking tool to access information about the installed systems at any time.
Workers are required to take photos of each system and complete a maintenance checklist while at each location. As part of its bottom-up approach, Enviro Loo uses a social facilitation team to achieve community buy-in into the technology.
"Enviro Loo has developed a visionary product that highlights a potential future where water-borne sewage processing systems – and all their incumbent issues – are no longer the norm.
The company has over 150 000 units installed in 52 countries, and has allowed more than two-million people to contribute to the socioeconomic development of their communities," Caetano said.
Locally, the Enviro Loo is the prescribed system of choice for the Limpopo Department of Education for rural schools across the province, with around 40 000 installations to date.
There are also 90 installations for Sanparks in the Kruger National Park.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents a Company of the Year award to the organisation that demonstrates excellence in terms of growth strategy and implementation in its field. The award recognises a high degree of innovation with products and technologies, and the resulting leadership in terms of customer value and market penetration.