Safety is our company's primary goal in our mission to improve sanitation facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. As such, our solution manages human waste from its production, right through to pathogen free and safe-to-handle output material, without the need for human contact. This is crucial as it is contact with human waste that is the main cause of diarrhoeal disease transmission.
Our system contains 6 latrines that are designed in a culturally acceptable style, very easily cleaned and contain no trap-points for human waste to become stagnant. Our system has been arranged to promote good ventilation within the latrines and undercarriage, reducing flying insects and providing a better environment for use. With these features, the latrines within the BioFactory are significantly more hygienic than the majority of those currently implemented in refugee camps and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The BioFactory not only handles the sanitary intake of waste material, it also includes a micro waste-processing plant to ensure the output material is safe-to-handle. The process we use to process the hazardous waste is called biodigestion, and uses bacteria cultures found in the gut to convert the otherwise unused waste material to create something positive and value adding.
Within the refugee camps we have visited in northern Kenya, an alternative cooking fuel source would prove very beneficial to the inhabitants. With our system, the users will be able to collect the biogas produced from the biodigestion process, and use it to cook with. Our system is designed to use existing fuel systems to store and use the biogas; LPG cylinders can be connected to the outlet and gas is pressurised into them. The mechanical energy required to compress the gas is provided by a small amount of work done by the users. In exchange for this effort, the user can bring home a canister of fuel with which they can cook a meal for their house. The alternative for cooking is using firewood, which is the most prevalent method in the refugee communities we have visited. This method has many negative factors associated as follows;
Our solution will help to reduce the effects for many of these issues by providing enough fuel to satisfy half the demand.
The BioFactory has been designed to be rugged, and long lasting, utilising materials and skills available in the local area for manufacture. There are a very limited amount of bespoke components within the system, with the majority of components being readily available in Kenya. This has been designed in to reduce the cost of the systems, therefore allowing us to build as many as we can with the funding we have.
The system has also been designed to be easily transportable and deployable; a shipping container is used for the main structure, with sections folding out from this when deployed. Due to this, the BioFactory can utilise the already established road freight system within Kenya to for transport and deployment. The system does not need to be attached to any utility services (e.g. electricity, sewage), and it does not need any prior construction for installation. This means it can be up and running within an hour of delivery. It also makes the BioFactory very versatile, and able to be placed in any location.
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