Eco-Friendly Bio-Toilets Improving Health and Dignity for India’s Poor
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Banka BioLoo, an Indian social enterprise that provides solutions for human waste treatment, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to expand distribution of environmentally-friendly bio-toilets to low-income people across India. BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models. It is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organisations.
Banka BioLoo’s inclusive business model calls for the installation of 300,000 “bioloos” – the company’s innovative sanitation system – across the country by 2020. Bioloos will also be installed in 3,000 schools – reaching an additional 120,000 girls. The company estimates that 94,000 local, temporary jobs will be created as a result of this expansion.
“Banka BioLoo is committed to environmental sustainability and social uplift by providing affordable and sustainable solutions for sanitation across India,” said Sanjay Banka, Banka BioLoo’s chief executive officer. “By providing eco-friendly bio-toilets, we are helping to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals while supporting the Indian government’s vision of a cleaner, healthier society. We are pleased to have our business model recognised by the Business Call to Action and look forward to working with fellow members to advance the new global development agenda.”
The shortage of sanitation facilities in India is a major concern. Nearly 600 million people – half of the country’s population – lack access to adequate sanitation, which increases the risk of water contamination and diseases. According to the World Bank, diarrhea kills approximately 800,000 children under age five every year and leaves millions more malnourished and stunted. The absence of sanitation is especially acute in rural and peri-urban areas with its higher than average population density and lack of access to water and sewage infrastructure.
To address the need for an inexpensive and easy-to-operate alternative to traditional waste disposal, bioloos treat human waste at the source with no need for transport, no contamination of the environment or groundwater, no energy requirements and no heavy infrastructure. The bio-toilet system leaves pathogen-free water that can be used for gardening. In large bio-tanks, methane can also be collected and used for fuel.