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Current business

WASHKING is a sanitation social enterprise based in Accra, Ghana. It makes, supplies and installs environmentally-safe, accessible and affordable biodigester fitted toilets for low-income and underserved urban households and institutions. The toilets are built locally by local artisans and using regionally available materials. The WASHKING technology uses aerobic decomposition and locally produced safe- worms for digestion. In addition, the treatment system separates effluent and turns it into safe water for agriculture or landscaping. Flexible payment terms, training on hygiene and after-sales services complements the package.

Our innovation concept

The key focus of this innovation is to develop an accessible, affordable, and eco-friendly modular toilet system built with plastic waste. By using plastic waste materials, the goal is to create a sustainable sanitation solution that offers several benefits:

  • Reduced Environmental Impact: By utilizing plastic waste in the construction, the innovation contributes to reducing environmental pollution and waste accumulation.
  • Affordability and Cost-Effectiveness: The use of plastic waste helps lower construction costs significantly, making the modular toilet system more affordable for underserved communities.
  • Durability and Longevity: Plastic waste materials are chosen to enhance the toilet units’ durability, ensuring they are long-lasting and can withstand challenging conditions.
  • Sustainable Solution for Underserved Communities: The eco-friendly approach addresses the specific needs of slum dwellers and underserved communities, providing them with a comprehensive and sustainable sanitation solution.
  • Smart Features for Enhanced Efficiency: Integration of smart systems with access control, payment, monitoring, and evaluation enhances the toilet system’s efficiency, security, and transparency.

What problem / societal challenge is our innovation concept solving from the perspective of our paying customers and end users?

The innovation concept of an eco-friendly modular toilet system built with plastic waste addresses several societal challenges from the perspective of paying customers and end users:

  1. Inadequate Sanitation Facilities: Many underserved communities and slum dwellers lack access to proper sanitation facilities, leading to unhygienic conditions and health risks.
  2. High Construction Costs: Traditional toilet systems can be costly to construct, making it challenging for economically disadvantaged communities to afford proper sanitation facilities.
  3. Environmental Pollution: Plastic waste is a significant environmental concern, and its use in the construction of modular toilet systems helps reduce pollution and waste accumulation.
  4. Shortage of Durable Solutions: Some communities struggle with the durability of existing sanitation solutions, and the use of plastic waste materials enhances the longevity and resilience of the toilet units.
  5. Limited Access to Smart Features: Access control, payment systems, and monitoring are essential for efficient sanitation management, and integrating smart features provides end users with improved efficiency and convenience.

What Research and Development (mandatory) is needed for our innovation?

  1. Material Optimization and Performance Assessment
    • How can we optimize the use of plastic waste materials to ensure maximum durability and performance of the modular toilet system?
    • What are the mechanical, thermal, and environmental properties of the plastic waste materials used, and how do they compare to traditional construction materials in terms of longevity and resilience?
  2. Environmental Impact and Sustainability Assessment
    • How can we further enhance the eco-friendliness of the system and ensure its sustainability throughout its lifecycle?
  3. Smart Systems Integration and User Experience
    • How can we effectively integrate access control, payment mechanisms, and monitoring features into the toilet system to optimize user experience and efficiency?
    • What are the technological challenges and opportunities in implementing these smart systems, and how can we ensure user-friendly interfaces and seamless functionality?

What and how big is the impact of our innovation concept – SDG goals?

  • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
    • The modular toilet system addresses the goal of providing access to clean water and sanitation facilities, particularly in underserved communities and slum areas.

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • The use of plastic waste in the construction of the toilet system promotes innovation and sustainable infrastructure development, contributing to SDG 9 objectives.

  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
    • The innovation supports responsible consumption and production by recycling plastic waste materials and using them in the construction of the toilet units.

  • SDG 13: Climate Action
    • By reducing environmental pollution and waste accumulation through the use of plastic waste, the innovation aligns with SDG 13 objectives for climate action.

What technical expertise do we need to develop a successful innovation? What are the associated technical research and development questions?

Technical Expertise Needed:

  1. Material Engineering: Select and optimize plastic waste materials for durability and environmental sustainability.
  2. Smart Systems Integration: Integrate access control, payment, monitoring, and evaluation features for efficiency.
  3. Environmental Impact Assessment: Ensure eco-friendliness of the plastic waste materials used.
  4. Structural Design and Engineering: Design toilet system for stability and longevity.
  5. Sanitation Engineering: Ensure optimal functionality of the modular toilet system.
  6. Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Efficiently manage materials and delivery to target communities.

Technical Research and Development (R&D) Questions:

  1. How can we optimize mechanical properties of plastic waste materials for durability?
  2. How can we integrate smart features effectively for seamless functionality?
  3. How can we compare plastic waste materials’ environmental impact to traditional materials?
  4. How can we ensure structural stability and longevity of the toilet system?
  5. How can we efficiently manage logistics and supply chain for materials and units?
  6. How can we follow sanitation engineering standards for optimal performance.

What economic and commercial expertise do we need to develop a successful innovation? What are the associated economic and commercial research and development questions?

Economic and Commercial Expertise Needed:

  1. Cost Analysis and Financial Planning
  2. Market Research and Analysis
  3. Business Model Development
  4. Supply Chain and Distribution Management
  5. Partnership and Collaboration

Economic and Commercial Research and Development (R&D) Questions:

  1. What is the cost-benefit analysis of using plastic waste materials in the toilet system, and how does it impact affordability and economic viability?
  2. How can we understand market dynamics, customer preferences, and pricing strategies to drive successful adoption and commercialization?
  3. How can the business model be tailored for underserved communities while ensuring profitability and sustainability?
  4. What supply chain strategies can optimize materials sourcing, manufacturing, and timely delivery?
  5. What revenue streams can be explored to enhance economic feasibility and financial sustainability?
  6. How can strategic collaborations with local authorities, NGOs, and community organizations enhance the innovation’s reach and impact?

Is your company a match?

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