The Secret SoLOOtion for Ground Water Protection

More than 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Every day in the developing world, thousands of tons of human feces are disposed of inadequately, polluting water supplies and spreading disease. Diarrheal disease is the biggest problem, claiming the lives of about 760,000 children under five annually, due to their relatively weak immune systems.

Access to adequate sanitation facilities is especially low for the 2 million people who live in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. The worst affected are those with low incomes living in densely populated, unplanned settlements — the result of urban sprawl. Without access to adequate sanitation, people resort to open defecation, which contaminates ground water and gives rise to such life-threatening diseases as cholera. Though it is difficult to quantify exactly how many residents in Kumasi openly defecate, we do know that there is only about 65% sanitation coverage. Nearly 40% of Kumasi residents rely on public toilets, and less than 25% of Kumasi residents have access to improved sanitation (defined as a variety of non-public toilets and latrines either connected to sewer systems or not). Thus, it is easy to understand why many people simply have nowhere else to ‘go.’

A Clean Team waste collector about to make his rounds

To address this problem, Clean Team Ghana, Ltd. provides households with an attractive, durable, hygienic toilet rental. Clean Team also collects the waste 3 times per week and transports it to a municipal treatment site for proper disposal. The company is currently testing options for waste conversion into energy and organic fertilizer to be more sustainable both financially and environmentally. Not only does this business give people a decent, dignified bathroom experience, but it also emphasizes the importance of protecting natural resources in order to stay healthy.

Clean Team’s core offerings, toilets and related waste collection services, are already making a big difference. To date, Clean Team has improved the lives of more than 4,500 Kumasi residents within 20+ communities by renting out more than 800 toilets. The company’s immediate focus is to optimize the model locally, but the ultimate goal is to expand within Ghana, and even internationally. To that end, market research has been ongoing in Kenya and Bangladesh to determine the viability of a similar offering in those countries. Clean Team looks forward to increasing its customer base and advancing its treatment of waste to further achieve measurable environmental as well as social impact.

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