Kenyan based social enterpise, Sanergy, has been named among the first-ever cohort of Earthshot Prize.
Sanergy is among the 15 finalists of Prince William’s inaugural award established in October 2020 to find inspiring and inventive answers to the world’s challenges. Sanergy has been nominated in the ‘Build a waste-free world’ category alongside Japan’s Wota Box and Italy’s The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs.
Experts chose the finalists from a possible 750 by looking for projects that have a “substantial positive impact” on people and the environment.
Sanergy, based in Nairobi, seeks to find a solution to the management of solid waste in emerging economies. Sanergy provides locally built, cost-effective dry toilets that offer a clean and affordable alternative to sewers. The company also collects the sanitation waste from slums and all other forms of organic waste from kitchens, agricultural pack houses and markets and transports the waste safely to its factory where it is consumed by black soldier fly larvae and converted to safe agricultural inputs sold to local farmers.
“Being part of the inaugural Earthshot Prize will help Sanergy further scale to safely repurpose five million tonnes of waste in the next five years within Kenya and other developing countries, improving the lives of millions,” said Sanergy chief executive, David Auerbach in a statement.
Sanergy serves 140,000 residents daily and collects 20,000 tonnes of waste each year. It also works to alleviate food insecurity. Sanergy’s organic fertilizer and insect protein for animal feed helps farmers fulfill the needs of growing populations by increasing farming volumes by up to 30%.
The social enterprise is already Eastern Central Africa’s largest waste recycling facility with the founders hoping to reuse five million more tonnes of waste over the next five years, delivering a clever solution to a mucky problem.
The Earthshot Prize was inspired by US President John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot” programme, which resulted in the US Apollo lunar launches and the first man setting foot on the Moon in 1969 and will have 5 winners, each receiving £1m, at a ceremony in London in the month of October.
From 2021 to 2030, Prince William will give the prize to five winners, one per Earthshot, in collaboration with the Earthshot Prize Council, which spans six continents.
The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance, a network of organizations that share the Prize’s vision to repair the planet, will provide personalized assistance and chances to help expand the work of the 15 selected nominees.
The inaugural 15 finalists were announced by Prince William on Friday afternoon. They included:
Protect and Restore Nature Category:
Pole Pole Foundation, Democratic Republic of Congo
A community-led model of conservation that protects gorillas and local livelihoods.
The Republic of Costa Rica
A scheme paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems that has led to a revival of the rainforest.
An online platform connecting and empowering local conservation projects.
Clean our Air Category:
The Blue Map App, China
China’s first public environmental database enabling citizens to hold polluters to account.
A technology to create profitable products from agricultural waste and put a stop to the burning of crops.
Vinisha Umashankar, India
A 14-year-old innovator and activist who has designed a solar-powered ironing cart with the potential to improve air quality across India.
Revive our Oceans Category:
Coral Vita, Bahamas
A coral farming project designed to restore the world’s dying coral reefs.
Living Seawalls, Australia
Innovative tiles attached to sea walls create habitats for marine life to attach to.
Pristine Seas, US
A global conservation programme protecting 6.5 million square km of the world’s ocean.
Build a Waste-Free World Category:
The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy
A city-wide initiative that has dramatically cut waste while tackling hunger.
A sanitation solution that converts human waste into safe products for local farmers.
WOTA BOX, Japan
A tiny water treatment plant that turns 98% of wastewater into clean water.
Fix our Climate Category:
AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy
An ingenious clean hydrogen fuel technology designed to transform how homes and buildings are powered.
Reeddi Capsules, Nigeria
Solar-powered energy capsules making electricity affordable and accessible in energy-poor communities.
The world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network in a country on the front-line of climate change.