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Turning Faecal Waste Into Business Opportunities

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana, Development, Economics & Business, Environment, Health, Ideas
Clean Team Ghana's toilet cartridges  awaiting delivery to customers in Kumasi, Ghana on 17 October 2013. Photo by Yani. Used with permission from Clean Team Ghana.

Clean Team Ghana's toilet cartridges awaiting delivery to customers in Kumasi, Ghana on October 17, 2013. Photo by Nyani. Used with permission from Clean Team Ghana.

It might not look like much to the average person, but to social entrepreneurs faecal waste is valuable business. Inorganic fertilisers are being replaced with faecal sludge [1], which is cheaper and rich in resources for agricultural purposes.

Having realised the potential in the re-use of faecal waste, Clean Team Ghana [2] (@cleanteamghana [3]), a sanitation company in Ghana that provides innovative and affordable in-house toilet facilities to urban communities, organised a Twitter chat pulling experts on faecal waste treatment from around the world to share thoughts on “How to Turn Faecal Waste into Opportunities”. The chat on April 15, 2014 used the hashtag #WasteOpportunities [4].

It was the company's second Twitter chat. The first tackled how open defecation can be eradicated in Ghana [5] with the input of sanitation experts, government officials, social enterprises and the online community on January 24, 2014.

Gavin Collins, a lecturer at the Ryan Institute in Ireland, commented:   

Doreen Anim, a revenue collection manager at Clean Team Ghana, pointed out:

Andy Narracott emphasised the use of CO2 from waste:

What are the main challenges in turning faecal waste into opportunities? Twitter user @ahiabor offered one answer:

Gavin Collins agreed:

Naomi Kokuro wrote:

Francis Kumadoh argued:

Replying to Francis Kumadoh's tweet, Valerie Labi wrote:  

Akua Akyaa Nkrumah, innovations manager at waste management firm Jekora Ghana, commented:

Super Yansh, a sanitation-oriented enterprise providing a home away from home toilet, suggested:

Dan Smith, a technical support consultant at Clean Team Ghana, argued:

Andy Narracott disagreed that culture is the main challenge:

Hans Doctor, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo, wrote:   

Climate Watch Ghana suggested:  

Asantewa Monney remarked:

Mona Mij, an industrial designer, tweeted: 

#wasteopportunities [6] in dev countries: Excreta reuse needs to be sexy! How? People involvement, stylish branding+marketing! @CleanTeamGhana [3]

— Mona Mij (@MonaMij) April 15, 2014 [27]