It may be a bit weird to use the word ‘elegant’ to describe something with the name “Peepoo” but that’s exactly what it is – an absolutely brilliant and elegant solution to one of the greatest global problems – clean sanitation.
2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to toilets – one of the leading causes of child mortality in the world. Yet, access to sanitation is one of the most neglected of the UN Millenium goals. By introducing Peepoo, the Swedish company Peepoople hopes to solve the sanitation problem in high-density urban areas, slums and refugee camps.
The Peepoo is a personal, single use toilet in the form of a slim, elongated bag. It is designed to be cheap, easy to use, self-sanitizing and mobile. Peepoo is one of few sanitation solutions that doesn’t require water. In addition, after use it provides value as a fertilizer, which enables collection and disposal systems to arise. However, even if no disposal services are available it doesn’t contaminate the environment because it is biodegradable.
According to Karin Ruiz, CEO of Peepoople, Peepoo has a great potential to help solve the huge sanitation problems in the world. It is very low-cost and can be implemented quickly, without the need of larger infrastructure systems. It also creates economically sustainable service systems for a longer timeframe.
Since October 2010 Peepoos are for sale in Kibera, Nairobi and Kenya. In Kibera they are usually sold by local micro entrepreneur women, contributing to their daily income. Since the Peepoo turns into valuable fertilizer, there have successfully been established collection systems where each user can get a refund for every used Peepoo handed in at the drop point.
Peepoople’s first large volume production line is scheduled to be up and running in the second quarter of 2011 and will have a maximum capacity of 500,000 Peepoos per day.