Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Waste not: Egypt’s refuse collectors regain role at heart of Cairo society

Waste not: Egypt’s refuse collectors regain role at heart of Cairo society | Source/complete article: The Guardian, March 27 2014 |

Excerpts - Zabaleen waste pickers are finally being re-integrated into the city’s services, a decade after they were sidelined.

A family at work in the Mokattam area of the Egyptian capital Cairo, where zabaleen collect, separate, sell or reuse rubbish. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

A family at work in the Mokattam area of the Egyptian capital Cairo, where zabaleen collect, separate, sell or reuse rubbish. Photograph: Bernat Armangue/AP

For the waste pickers that have traditionally made a living sifting through the mountain of discarded litter that blights the streets of Cairo, there has been scant cause for celebration these past 10 years. Marginalised by a 2004 Mubarak goverment directive that placed household waste collection in the hands of multinationals, their existence has been one of ever increasing struggle for steadily declining return.

But change is afoot. Government acceptance that the corporatisation of waste disposal in Egypt‘s capital has been a resounding failure has paved the way for the formal integration of the zabaleen – who, for more than half a century, went door to door gathering the vast majority of household waste in Cairo – into the city’s official refuse collection system.

For a community that has served Cairo well, the government’s U-turn offers a deserved chance to change their lives for the better. Before 2004, the zabaleen would take the rubbish they collected back to their homes on the edge of the city, sort through it, and make a living from selling the salvaged materials to factories and wholesalers. The remaining organic waste would be fed to their pigs, whose meat also brought them a steady income.

But 10 years ago, this informal arrangement came to an abrupt end when the Mubarak government contracted four corporate firms to do the work instead – cutting the 65,000 zabaleen out of the process, and wrecking their collective livelihood. The aim was to professionalise the capital’s waste management.

Government officials now admit that approach was flawed from the start, and for the first time are starting to make the zabaleen‘s role official, giving them uniforms and vehicles.

“The others have failed, be they the government or the foreign companies, and now [the zabaleen] should get a turn, having been sidelined for so long,” said Laila Iskandar, Egypt’s environment minister, who has prioritised the issue since her appointment in July. “They are the people who have the longest experience in refuse collection.”

Garbage clinical insurance wins sustainability entrepreneur prize

Garbage Clinical Insurance: Young Indonesian Doctor Receives Award From Prince of Wales | Source/complete article – Establishment Post, Feb 12, 2014.

Excerpts – Gamal Albinsaid, a young Indonesian doctor, has recently been awarded the inaugural “Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize” from the Prince of Wales. He was given the award during a dinner reception at the Buckingham Palace at the end of January. His innovative project helps the poorest communities gain access to health services and education through the collection and recycling of garbage called the Garbage Clinical Insurance enterprise.

Photo: Courtesy of Indonesia Medika/Gamal Albinsaid Mr Gamal Albinsaid received his award from HRH Prince of Wales during a dinner reception at the Buckingham palace  at the end of January 2014.

Photo: Courtesy of Indonesia Medika/Gamal Albinsaid
Mr Gamal Albinsaid received his award from HRH Prince of Wales during a dinner reception at the Buckingham palace at the end of January 2014.

Mr Albinsaid, currently the chief executive officer (CEO) of Indonesia Medika, is the Founder of the Indonesian social enterprise Garbage Clinical Insurance (GCI). He was inspired to set up the micro-insurance programme to empower people to take an active role in managing their waste while improving their sanitation.

The 24-year-old doctor set up the initiative in 2009 when he was still a medical student at the Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java province. Mr Albinsaid was saddened upon hearing the death of a three year old child from diarrhea because the parents could not afford to take the child to any clinic for help.

The GCI has help communities in need turn in their household waste into something that could improve their health.

The scheme provides insurance to members of the clinic in return for their garbage.  Every weekend, members bring their organic and non-organic waste to a collection point near the clinic to be directly processed and sold.

Afterward, collected garbage is processed into money considered as “health fund premium” for all members.

Rural sanitation market in India worth US$ 25 billion

Monitor Deloitte has estimated that the demand for rural toilets in India could be worth INR 500-700 billion (US$ 10-14 billion), with an INR 300-450 billion (US$ 6-9 billion) financing opportunity. This is one of key key highlights from their recent white paper.

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

The paper identified two main types of  business models to deliver rural toilets: the Do It Yourself (DIY) model and a Turnkey Solution Provider (TSP) model. Both models require a central player or ‘market maker’ to conduct market-building activities to get the models started. Organisations such as NGOs, microfinance institution (MFIs) and cement companies can play this role, while the Government has a key role in facilitating the development of the sanitation market.

The Government of India has approved funding of over US$ 4 billion for rural sanitation, but less than 60% of these funds have been used, the paper says. Census data indicates that many of these Government supported toilets may be non-existent or not-in-use.

Research by Monitor Deloitte in the Indian state of Bihar  showed 84% of households surveyed in rural Bihar indicated their desire for a toilet and 38% of these households had actually researched available product options. Safety of women, convenience and privacy as opposed to health were key drivers.

Deloitte is organising a series of open conference calls to discuss their findings on the following dates:

  • February 12, 10am IST
  • February 25, 10am IST
  • March 5, 9:30am IST
  • March 13, 9:30pm IST

Please request RSVPs to inmim@deloitte.com for more information and materials for the call.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Microfinance

Issue 128 January 3, 2014 | Focus on Microfinance

Many thanks to Blake McKinlay from iDE for suggesting the topic for this issue and for sharing an interesting study in Cambodia on determining the impact microfinance has on the uptake of latrines. Other resources include a just-published Water for the People review of its microfinance experiences in seven countries, a SHARE blog post on microfinance issues, and country studies from Ghana, Kenya, among others. weekly

REPORTS/WEBINARS

Understanding Willingness to Pay for Sanitary Latrines in Rural Cambodia: Findings from Four Field Experiments of iDE Cambodia’s Sanitation Marketing Program, 2013. N Shah, IDinsight. (Policy Brief) | (Complete Report) |
Given the low willingness to pay for latrines with cash, efforts to sell latrines at market price without any financing mechanism will lead to continued low penetration. The major implication of this study is that offering microfinance loans for latrines will dramatically increase uptake of latrines, while also making distribution significantly cheaper per latrine sold. Large-scale efforts to offer financing packages for latrines should be aggressively pursued in rural Cambodia and have the potential to increase latrine coverage from the current national rural level of 20 percent to 60 percent.

Evaluating the Potential of Microfinance for Sanitation in Tanzania, 2013. S Trémolet, SHARE. (Link)
Microfinance could be used in two main ways to promote access to sustainable sanitation services: by enabling households to spread out the costs of investing in household sanitation solutions (such as latrines and septic tanks), thereby improving the affordability of such investments and by supporting the development of a broad range of sanitation service providers, including masons, communal toilet block operators, or pit latrine emptiers.

Improved Sanitation and its Impact on Children: An Exploration of Sanergy, 2013. H Esper. (Link)
This child impact case study examines the positive impacts of improved sanitation on households and communities, using Sanergy’s experience in Kenya. This for-profit enterprise operates franchises in Nairobi’s slums and provides modular sanitation facilities and entrepreneurial training.

Market-Based Financing: WSP/RWSN Webinar Series, 2013. (Webinar) | (All Webinars) |
This webinar explores experiences with using local banks to provide commercial or semi-commercial loans for the construction, expansion, and major rehabilitation of rural and small town water schemes, using cases from Kenya and Uganda.

Microfinance as a Potential Catalyst for Improved Sanitation: A Synthesis of Water for People’s Sanitation Lending Experiences in Seven Countries, 2013. C Chatterley, Water For People. (Link)
To learn how best to facilitate sanitation microfinance, Water for People has been piloting various lending models with diverse partners in seven countries (Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda, and Uganda). This report aims to synthesize these experiences to inform general guidance for initiating and improving programs, providing lessons learned and recommendations.

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A Market Led, Evidence Based Approach to Rural Sanitation

Monitor Inclusive Markets, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has written a white paper titled “A Market Led, Evidence Based Approach to Rural Sanitation” on supply side market-based approaches to scale rural sanitation in India, based mainly on findings from the PSI-led “Supporting Sustainable Sanitation Improvements” (3SI) project in Bihar and supplemented by additional investigation of interventions in other parts of India.

The white paper explains that demand for toilets does exist in rural India, and the availability of quality and affordable products as well as financing are key levers to unlocking this demand. It goes on to propose business models that could profitably deliver solutions that meet customer needs, and highlights players in the sanitation ecosystem who could serve as the “market maker,” conducting market-building activities and creating an enabling environment for growth.

Please visit www.inclusive-markets.org/sanitation to see a more complete set of outputs from the 3SI project as well as annexures to the white paper providing overviews of some organizations already delivering sanitation solutions or providing sanitation financing in rural India.

Is there a sustainable business case for sanitation?

Left to right: Radu Ban (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Babar Kabir (BRAC) and Bernadette Blom (Goodwell Investments), panelists at the workshop Making Sustainable Business out of Sanitation. Photo: Peter McIntyre

Left to right: Radu Ban (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Babar Kabir (BRAC) and Bernadette Blom (Goodwell Investments), panelists at the workshop Making Sustainable Business out of Sanitation. Photo: Peter McIntyre

The business case for sanitation in developing countries is testified by the thousands of small scale entrepreneurs springing up to tackle problems of open defecation and process faecal waste and urine.

Will these businesses be profitable and sustainable? Can they address the huge scale of the problem? Will they address the issues in rural areas as well as urban areas? These questions are much harder to answer.

The evidence from an event at the International Water Week leading up to the Sarphati Sanitation Award was mixed. The workshop Making Sustainable Business out of Sanitation, showed a high level of innovation and enthusiasm for businesses to address two of the most intractable public health and environment issues of our age – the 2.5 billion people who don’t have access to safe hygienic toilets and sanitation, and how to deal with human waste.

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Sanergy from Nairobi wins first Sarphati Sanitation Award

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy)

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy). Photo: Dick de Jong, H2O Communications, 2013

Sanergy won the first Sarphati Santation Award because in the past two years it has built 242 sanitation facilities run by 130 local entrepreneurs from Nairobi’s slums, who earn US$ 2,000 per year in income for their families while providing hygienic sanitation to 10,000+ residents. The Mayor of Amsterdam awarded a cash prize of 50.000 euros (US$  67,000) and a statue by famous artist Marte Röling to the winner, Becky Auerbach from Sanergy during the International Water Week (IWW) in Amsterdam. IDE Cambodia and Mr. Toilet, Jack Sim were the runners up.

The three nominees have in common that they provide remarkable sustainable business solutions “turning shit into gold”. They have shown that it is very well possible to address sanitation and public health issues in developing countries while making profit. Over the past years interest has increased for new ways to address the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation.

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WaterSHED – Microfinance boosts latrine purchases in rural Cambodia

Microfinance boosts latrine purchases in rural Cambodia | Source: WaterSHED, Sept 27, 2013 |

An innovative way to integrate micro-finance and sanitation marketing is resulting in a truly Hands-Off success story and helping to scale up access to safe toilets by the rural poor. watershed

Many proponents of market-based sanitation programs around the world are keen to explore financing as a way to make toilets more accessible to the rural poor. The most repeated complaint by rural villagers when discussing toilet adoption in Cambodia, like elsewhere, is aut louy or “no money”.

Cost is also one of the major roadblocks in offering sanitation financing: loan assessment, disbursement, and payment collections are expensive activities. Because loans for toilets are relatively small, the interest (even at high rates) is not likely to offset the operating costs of the micro-finance institution (MFI). Furthermore, MFIs typically prefer to offer ‘productive’ loans as a opposed to ‘consumptive’ ones because of their lower risk of delinquency or default (a loan to buy a sewing machine for a small business that will generate revenue to make payments as opposed to a loan to repair the roof of a house). Loans to purchase toilets and water filters are considered consumptive.

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Big business pledge for access to WASH @ workplace

Investing in employee WASH = healthy and more productive employees.

This simple business logic inspired  WBCSD, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, to  launch a “Pledge for Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Workplace”.

Big names like Nestlé, Greif, Borealis AG, EDF, Deloitte LLP, Roche Group, Unilever and the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC)  have already signed up. These companies pledge to provide access to WASH at the workplace for employees in all locations under their control within three years.

The longer term vision is to “go beyond the fence to advocate for access for all employees along the value chain and ultimately employee homes and communities where employees live”.

More information can be found in two documents:

The guiding principles document includes two cost-benefit calculation examples for investments in urban WASH (piped water + septic tanks) and rural WASH (wells + pit latrines).

The WBCSD has been active on water issues for over 15 years. Around 60 companies and 18 regional network partners are members of the WBCSD Water Working Group, of which 28 member companies, representing 11 business sectors, constitute the Water Leadership Group.

Within the WBCSD  Water Working Group, Borealis AG leads the WASH “pathway” group promoting “business action for access to safe water and sanitation at scale”.

Source: WBCSD, 04 Sep 2013

Tapping the Market: Opportunities for Domestic Investments in Sanitation for the Poor

Tapping the Market: Opportunities for Domestic Investments in Sanitation for the Poor, 2013. Conference Edition.

World Bank; WSP; IFIC.

The current market for improved on-site sanitation services in the four countries is large: supplying new systems and replacing old ones is conservatively estimated to be worth US$300 million a year. But the potential market is much larger: one-time sales of improved sanitation facilities to the 228 million people without access are worth at least US$2.6 billion.

Poor people alone would account for sales of about US$700 million. New customers would increase the replacement market to about US$550 million a year. Private sector activity associated with the market is not limited to the installation of latrines and toilets. The domestic private sector in these countries is engaged in a range of activities, including wholesale and retail sales of materials and components, the manufacture of prefabricated cement products used to build latrines and toilets, and the provision of advice on and the design of latrines and toilets.

Some enterprises also offer financing facilities or are engaged in related services, such as repairs, pit emptying, and septage disposal, which have the potential to be sizable business opportunities (the potential market for truck-based pit emptying in Indonesia is about $100 million a year, for example).

The study’s recommendations focus primarily on the constraints inherent in current technologies and in the supply chains that support provision of on-site sanitation services. It is these constraints that lead to households being offered products and services that they are not very interested in buying. The recommendations are aimed at governments, development partners, and industry.