The winner of the first Sarphati Sanitation Award is the American-based organisation Sanergy that developed the low-cost 'Fresh-life' toilet. The toilets are manufactured at local workshops and operated by local franchised entrepreneurs who earn up to 2000 dollar per year by providing sanitation services.

The winner was announced by chairman Jan de Bondt during an official ceremony as part of the Internastional Water Week/Aquatech event in Amsterdam on 5 November.

On behalf of Sanergy, Becky Auerbach (middle on top photo) received a sculpture and a cheque of 50.000 euro.

Sanergy was competing with IDE Cambodia, represented by Yi Wei (right on top photo) and Mr. Toilet, Jack Sim (left on top photo)

Sanergy is out to change things for the 2.5 billion people across the globe who lack access to adequate sanitation and for the 2 million who die each year of diarrheal disease.

dws-iww-sarphati-sanergy-toilet-350pxFranchise sanitation services
Sanergy developed a unique process. First, they'd build sanitation centers, providing clean toilets and sanitary hand-washing under a strong concrete structure. The waste would then be collected in 'air-tight containers',  which local Sanergy employees then take to a central processing facility, converting the waste into biogas or fertilizer. "Each toilet is a franchise," co-founder David Auerbach said when he started Sanergy in 2011. "It's owned and operated by a local entrepreneur. They can then devise a viable income from that."

Scaling up in Nairobi
Sanergy is scaling their model in Kenya through public and private partnerships such as Government of Kenya, Unilever, and Oxfam. Since their pilot phase in 2011, Sanergy has scaled to over 170 franchised toilets in three of Nairobi’s slum areas, with over 8,000 uses per day. The toilets have been used more than 1,000,000 times, and Sanergy has safely removed more than 500 tons of waste from the community.

Outstanding track record
"It was inspiring to see how many people are engaged in the huge challenge of improving sanitation, public health, safety and dignity in general", said Mr. Johan de Bondt, chairman of the Jury. The jury was highly impressed with the overall standard of the 24 nominations. Three nominees were choosen to compete for the Award. Among those three, the jury unanimously declared Sanergy as the winner of the SSA 2013. 

De Bondt: "Sanergy performs exceptionally well in linking different partners from the public and private sector in the quest to improve the sanitation situation. Besides this, the organisation has an outstanding track record in the field of sanitation."

dws-iww-sarphati-reincarnation-350pxHearing about a ceremony for the hand out of an award named after him, doctor Samuel Sarphati did not hesitate to come back to life. That was what he told at the ceremony. He praised the entrepreneurs that followed his footsteps. Having said so, he returned to his afterlife.

First Sarphati award
The Sarphati Sanitation Award aims to boost attention, capacity, innovation and investment to the field of sanitation and public health in order to achieve the MDG targets for 2015

The award is inspired by Dr Samuel Sarphati (1813-1866), general practitioner and town planner in Amsterdam in the mid-19th century. He was appalled by the bad sanitary conditions in the poorer quarters of the city and established a company that collected the human waste of the city dwellers. Faeces and urine were transformed into manure for the agricultural sector.

As a true entrepreneur, Dr Sarphati applied the fertilizer to crops on his estate and brought fruit and vegetables back to Amsterdam for the benefit of his patients. He understood that improving sanitation was key to improving the public health situation. His efforts helped to eradicate cholera from Amsterdam before the end of the 19th century.

The Sarphati Sanitation Award is an initiative of the Municipality of Amsterdam, World Waternet, Aqua for All and the Netherlands Water Partnership, and is endorsed by the Dutch Government.

(photos by NWP/Rob Kamminga)

Read more on IWW/Aquatech on this site
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IWW/Aquatech: Collective call for integrated water solutions at opening ceremony, 5 November 2013
IWW/Aquatech: Pitch battle for entrepreneurs with highly innovative water technology solutions, 4 November 2013
IWW/Aquatech Amsterdam 2013: Captains of industry to debate water use in the full product cycle, 22 October 2013
Aquatech Amsterdam 2013 trade exhibition unveils nominees Innovation Awards, 9 October 2013
New UNSGAB Chair Prince El Hassan Bin Talal keynote speaker at International Water Week, the Netherlands, 16 Augustus 2013
International Water Week Amsterdam 2013 seeks inspiring water solutions for a green economy, 14 May 2013

More information
Aqua for All
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 3519 725

World Waternet
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+31 20 608 62 88

Recording of the Sarphati Sanitation Award Ceremony at the International Water Week Amsterdam on Tuesday November 5 2013. Including the pitches from the three nominees.