Poop is a problem for much of Africa’s population, as many countries and areas lack adequate waste collection services. This leads to overflowing latrines and toilets, making the spread of deadly dieseses a certainty. Ghana-based Waste Enterprisers, in conjunction with Columbia University and Kwame Nkrumah University, has used the aforementioned $1.5 million to set up a waste collection agency that doesn’t dispose of poo-water, but rather converts it into usable fuels. This kills (or rather, saves) two birds with one stone, as about 85% of fecal waste collected is just dumped back into the environment, untreated. A little untreated poo never hurt anyone, but when you’re talking on a scale of hundreds of millions of people, with little to nothing in the way of environmental regulations protecting them, well, its a situation that can (and is) out of control.
But by converting that fecal matter into fuel for cars, buses, and industries, Waste Enterprisers is able to collect poo-water from locals, free of charge, and then sell them a locally-made fuel product. It’s business meets sustainability, so long as they can turn a profit. And if they can turn a profit, it could be the start of an entirely new industry in Africa with huge, positive repercussions across the continent. It’s a business plan that could be developed anywhere in the developing world, and it could save many, many lives…while still making a buck.