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Planet Advocate Project by Michael Iyanro

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Pitch

Planet Advocate wants to build environmental sanitation (EnSan) systems in Africa that transform human wastes into rich compost.


Description

Summary

Planet Advocate wants to build environmental sanitation (EnSan) systems in Africa that transform human wastes into rich compost. We want to Implement appropriate, low-cost, robust ecological sanitation solutions that closes the loop between sanitation, health and food consumption with the aim of improving health, sanitation, nutrition, incomes and biodiversity for the base of the pyramid.By turning a public health problem into a sustainable solution for soil restoration, we want to set a global example for how sanitation services can preserve nutrients, fight malnutrition and save the environment.

 


Category of the action

Reducing emissions from waste management


What actions do you propose?

What actions do you propose?

PROBLEM

1.Atleast 80% of the people do not have toilets and do open defecation, affecting the river water quality, and thereby resulting in waterborne diseases leading to high infant mortality, high medical expenses, low saving ability, and malnutrition among all especially children;

2. The rainy season results in flooding and collapse of pit latrines leading to possible health hazards and contamination; further, they bathe themselves in the same river;

3. During the non-rainy season, people defecate on the river bank, severely contaminating the underground water sources;

4.  Severe land degradation and lack of fertilizer in the rural areas. Loss of soil fertility especially phosphorus is slow but dramatic and global. Commercial fertilizer uses a lot of fossil fuel to produce and is difficult to purchase especially for people earning less than a dollar a day. This leads to a downward cycle of poverty, malnutrition and powerlessness.

5. Overall 2/3 of the world's population has no access to a toilet and, as a result, waterborne disease is one of the leading causes of death in children under 5 in developing countries. While aquatic ecosystems are becoming increasingly polluted with nutrients from human waste, the Earth’s soils exhibit rapidly declining fertility, reducing agricultural production and leading to poverty and malnutrition.

Solution

Some call it feces and some call it humanure and some call it other things not fit for this project, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s just call it poop. Everybody poops and it has to go somewhere. So it should be important to everyone where it goes…

To solve the above identified problems, Planet Advocate will engineer The EnSan System – the Compact, Rotating, Aerobic, Pollution Prevention, Excreta Reducer system. The toilet technology will be a self-contained, waterless, rotating drum-based composting toilet that will work everywhere, even flood prone areas. The EnSan system will be private, safe, convenient, sustainable, clean and, most importantly, affordable. The toilet technology will come in various designs and sizes for peoples convenience. The various designs will be made affordable with prices ranging from $20-$200 per retail unit by using inexpensive yet resilient materials. Once properly introduced to the market, The EnSan System can become the toilet of choice for consumers that live in flood-prone areas of the developing world.

Why is it innovative?

Environmental sanitation (EnSan) is an integrated sanitation strategy developed through traditional knowledge and biological science in which natural processes are utilized to transform human wastes (poop and pee) into fertile soil (Esrey, 2001). EnSan is based on three principles:

1. The prevention of pollution rather than an attempt to control or mitigate it after the fact;

2. The sanitization of urine and poop; and

3. Using the resulting safe products to enhance agricultural production.

Planet-Advocate strives to counteract the downward spiral of soil degradation and poverty by developing social business models for EnSan solutions. Planet-Advocate’s toilets called (EnSan) will safely collect toilet wastes which will then be transported to decentralized composting sites. Through thermophillic composting, the wastes will be safely transformed into rich compost critical for soil improvement.

Many people with pit latrines have noticed that addition of ash or soil speeds the decomposition process, reduces smell and cuts down on fly and mosquito breeding. EnSan seeks to harness ecological processes to ameliorate some of the problems associated with traditional sanitation approaches by:

 Using shallow pits or above ground structures: Arborloos and Fossa Alternas are variations of the traditional pit latrine with the major difference being the depth of the pits. These are always shallow, not more than 1 meter deep, so they are less likely to reach the groundwater table. It is possible, however, that these shallow pit toilets cause groundwater contamination in areas with a very high water table or during floods like Lagos. Urine diversion (UD) toilets, which will be the focus of this project, are completely above ground and there is no contamination of the toilet site.

Reducing standing water: the addition of ash and/or other carbon materials to composting pit latrines and urine diversion toilets reduces moisture to avoid having standing water where mosquitoes can breed. Reducing standing water also cuts down on smells and flies.

Reusing contents as fertilizer: the reuse of composted human wastes constitutes a beneficial way to treat the wastes and means that the structures can be used for long periods of time as the contents are removed for fertilizer.

 Keeping nutrients and pathogens in the soil and out of the water: well-maintained environmental sanitation systems do not seek to dispose of waste but rather to transform it into rich soil, where nutrients are conserved and pathogens are killed during the composting process.

Not requiring water: EnSan toilets do not require water to flush or maintain, reducing the environmental costs by conserving a precious resource.

Example

The Planet Advocate has already demonstrated value through EnSan’s initial pilots. Planet Advocate has partnered with Rainbow Gate Foundation, a well-established Nigeria-based NGO that works in the rural and peri-urban areas Kaduna, and already conducted an initial successful pilot with more on the way. In Lagos state, south-western Nigeria a densely populated urban neighborhood with few services and a devastatingly high rate of cholera, with population currently approximated to be around 21 million people; Planet-Advocate has just begun constructing EnSan toilets pilots small enough and scentless enough to conveniently fit into small homes (average number of people in a household in Lagos ranges from 8-10 people). The specially designed toilet seats separate urine and feces so that the potentially pathogenic solid wastes are collected into sealable 6 gallon buckets. In exchange for a monthly household user fee of $3-6 USD depending on the number of people within the household; Planet-Advocate picks up the full toilet buckets each week and leaves toilet owners with clean empty buckets and a sufficient quantity of organic matter (such as peanut husks) to “flush” their toilets after each use. The user fees cover the full cost of transportation and maintenance.

We hope to form partnership with organizations such as Global giant World Vision and other NGOs working on relief efforts to deploy The EnSan System. These organizations not only promote sanitation but can also provide subsidies and micro-loans to customers and other programs (technical skills training, small business capacity building skills, etc.) to encourage use in communities in need.

INCOME STREAMS FOR EnSan SUSTAINABILITY

Planet-Advocate pioneers of the EnSan System will engage in agricultural research and educational outreach. Potential income streams from throughout the EnSan cycle will include:

1. EnSan System Toilet sales and deployment user fees charged at $3-6 per month depending on the number of people in a household.

2. Compost sales across the 36 states in Nigeria for over 100 million farmers at an affordable rate. The present cost of a bag of fertilizer in Nigeria is presently at $32. We believe our innovation will serve has an alternative to help poor farmers reduce this cost and also help them save money.

3. Waste treatment fees

5. EnSan Mobile Toilet for inner city use: Here passerby feeling to poop or pee can just branch and pay a user fee of $0.1.

6. We will also specialize in thermal energy (heat) capture and transfer from the composting of biodegradable materials such as food waste, by-products of food processing, farm manure and bedding, and other types of biomass. We will design, build and sell large scale compost and heat capture systems for farms, commercial compost sites, universities, municipalities and others with existing or proposed composting operations. The technology we propose to sale will have the capacity to heat greenhouses or buildings, meet demands for hot water, or dry agricultural products, while using the compost generated to rebuild soil or create a value added product.

7. In future, EnSan will also diversify into Real-Estates. We will build affordable houses in the rural and urban centers using EnSan environmental sustainable techniques which entails the conversion of septic tank from the toilet design to produce biogas for cooking and other domestic activities. This will be serviced and maintained by Planet Advocate Group. Our commitment is to build a just and sustainable neighborhood that will promote the future of our planet.

All the above mentioned strategy will be used to support the project and entice entrepreneurs to replicate it around the country and globally.

Marketplace

The leading composting toilet manufacturers in the developed world are Sunmar and Envirolet. These companies are established with models that range between $1,600-$2,600, unaffordable for families in developing countries. Sunmar has a similar technology to The EnSan System, using a rotating drum. Envirolet requires installation of a tank for composting. Due to the expensive price, neither company is focused on providing products to poor communities in flood-prone areas. There are three other direct competitors: Sanergy, Amalooloo, and Banza, each with pros/cons in cost and sustainability.

However, Planet-Advocate will focus on grassroots-level programming with an unparalleled level of cultural fluency, an inclusive process of program design, and a proven record of implementing projects in challenging circumstances. Too many innovations fail to reach beneficiaries due to lack of local connections or implementation expertise. And while there are some superb working models for how innovative designs can be implemented at the community level, they rarely have a robust information-sharing program to assist others in replicating the success.

Impact

Within 10 years, Planet Advocate aims to deliver more than 500,000 toilets. With an average of 6 people per household, the lives of three million individuals will be improved.

Measuring Impact

We will measure success via pre and post-test survey, ocular inspection and regular monitoring by staff. The indicators we will set will be social, physical and economic and will comprise the following; a. increase in income as a result of the livelihood activities, eg. Gardening,

b. improvement in sanitation as a result of dry toilet implementation,

 c. improvement in nutrition,

d. less parasite infestation and disease,

e. savings in water,

f. improvement in biodiversity due to tree growing activities,

g. viable community organizations.

Sustainability Plan

Planet Advocate is seeking a capital raise of $300,000 for 15% equity to cover costs for the pilot year and the first year of manufacturing and operations. Breakeven profitability occurs after two years with revenues after expenses of over $300,000 in Year 3. The current projections give an IRR of 40% after five years.

OFFERING TO INVESTORS.

Planet Advocate is looking to partner with local NGOs in each developing country. Each market entry will be initiated with a pilot stage, spearheaded with a locally established NGO. After the vetting process, the NGOs will serve as the first customers by introducing The EnSan System to their respective communities. These NGOs not only promote sanitation but can also provide subsidies and micro-loans to customers and other programs (technical skills training, small business capacity building skills, etc.).

In exchange for capital and strategic support, we will offer investor equity, and will additionally offer a partner company direct, unlimited access to these markets at the grass-roots level. We are dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s underprivileged people by promoting environmental sanitation.

 


Who will take these actions?

Planet-Advocate will be structured as a hybrid organization combining both for-profit and non-profit organization techniques to promote integrated approaches to the problems of poverty, poor public health, agricultural productivity and environmental destruction. The primary objective will be to facilitate the community-identified priority of environmental sanitation (EnSan), where human wastes are converted to valuable fertilizer. The organization will work along with environmental groups, and community members to carry out the model. We believe that the key to sustainability is social business development. This work will explore the creation and capture of revenue throughout the EnSan cycle to ensure that Planet-Advocate's projects can be brought to scale by the private sector

The project will start from Nigeria and gradually spread across Africa and other developing countries. We believe that this project is a replicable template that is suitable for both rural and urban centers.

 


Where will these actions be taken?

The project will start from Nigeria and gradually spread across Africa and other developing countries. We believe that this project is a replicable template that is suitable for both rural and urban centers. We will work with multiple partners across multiple organizations to make this model sustainable. We will seek for capital from private accredited investors, non-profit relief agencies, or possibly as a partnership with a global environmental company interested in penetrating emerging markets. Our presence in developing nations will drastically improve the community’s prosperity, thereby building real demand for environmental sustainable products and services. In exchange for capital and strategic support, we will offer investor equity, and will additionally offer a partner company direct, unlimited access to these markets at the grass-roots level. We are dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s underprivileged people by promoting the use of environmental sustainable toilets. Therefore, we will also offers investors association with this noble initiative.


What are other key benefits?

·Remove toxic waste from neighborhoods (cut down on waterborne & other diseases resulting from waste water and sewage)

· Creates jobs and more money circulating in local economies

·Localized/small scale operations eliminate need for large scale operations and related costs of maintenance.

·Increases environmental education and pollution awareness across  the communties.

. Improved soil sustainability

· Reduce environmental degradation

· Enhanced agricultural productivity


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

That will be determine with time. but we are sure it will go a long way in reducing GHG emission


What are the proposal’s costs?

We can design one toilet as low as $50 In exchange for a monthly household user fee of approximately $2-6 USD depending on the number of people in an household; the user fees cover the full cost of transportation and maintenance.


Time line

2014-onward


Related proposals

n/a


References

1. Clivus Multrum, Inc. 1994. “When Nature Calls... It Calls Clivus®.” Clivus Multrum, Inc. Lawrence, Massachusetts.

2. Cook, B. 1981. “Field Evaluation of Compost Toilets.” Individual Onsite

Wastewater Systems: Proceedings of the Seventh National Conference. pp. 83–98.

3. Crites, R. and G. Tchobanoglous. 1998. Small and Decentralized Wastewater

Management Systems. The McGraw-Hill Companies. New York, New York.

4. Del Porto, D. A. and C. J. Steinfeld. 1998. The Composting Toilet Book. Chelsea

Green Publishing, Inc. Whiteriver Junction, Vermont.

5. Felton, D. (editor). 1981. “State-Of-The Art Assessment of Compost Toilets and Greywater Treatment Systems.” The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Little Rock, Arkansas.

6. Guttormsen, D. 1979. “Evaluation of Compost Toilets—A Field and Laboratory Update.” Individual Onsite Wastewater Systems: Proceedings of the Sixth National Installations: Preliminary Findings.” USACERL Technical Report N-160. USACERL. Champaign, Illinois.