Last updated August 30, 2012

Partner Description:

Sanergy is a social enterprise that combines technology, entrepreneurialism and a unique business model to provide safe, accessible and affordable sanitation products and services to slum residents across Kenya.

Sanergy is the creator of the Fresh Life toilet, a sanitation system that builds in unique concepts and technology to improve waste collection and conversion. Today, the organization has close to 100 toilets operating in slums throughout Nairobi, and is scaling fast.

4 steps to hygienic sanitation: Build, franchise, collect, convert

1) BUILD: Sanergy is building a network of small-scale, high-quality sanitation facilities that can be placed close to homes in urban slums. Designed by its own team of engineers, Sanergy’s Fresh Life toilets cost only $200 to make, occupy a small footprint of land and can be assembled in a day.

2) FRANCHISE: Sanergy sells these toilets at affordable prices to local operators, providing them with training and ongoing support. These franchisees can then charge people to use their toilets for a minimal fee, enabling them to generate up to US$1,200 in additional income every year.

3) COLLECT: Sanergy employees called the “Fresh Life Front Line” collect waste from each toilet every day. Unlike traditional facilities that funnel waste into pits, septic tanks or waterways, Fresh Life toilets trap waste in sanitary, double-sealed containers. Employees simply deposit these containers at a local processing facility and pick up clean replacements for the next day’s business.

3) CONVERT: Sanergy aims to convert the waste it collects into high-margin products, including electricity sold to the national grid, and organic fertilizer sold to commercial farms. Sanergy’s plan is to create biogas for both energy and fertilizer at a large, central processing facility, transforming human waste into an economically valuable resource.

Kiva and Sanergy

Sanergy uses the flexible, zero-interest capital provided by Kiva lenders to offer loans to its network of toilet operators. The funding covers the upfront costs of the toilet purchase, enabling operators to pay back the loan over time with the revenue generated by the toilet. Now many more people who could not afford to be operators otherwise have the chance to install clean toilets and generate additional income for themselves and their families.

Toilet operators run their facilities as successful small businesses. On average, each toilet receives between 50 and 60 uses a day, allowing 20% of operators to hire support staff, creating additional jobs in a community plagued by 40% unemployment.

Sanergy charges a small markup on the equipment to cover the costs of administering Kiva loans. Working with Kiva is helping Sanergy grow rapidly and provide even more Kenyans with a clean, hygienic and environmentally-sustainable alternative.

The importance of sanitation

Worldwide, about 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. The resulting diarrheal disease kills 1.6 million children every year -- more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. This problem is especially acute in urban slums, where populations are expected to hit 2 billion by 2030.

Right now, about 10 million Kenyans live in slums, but this number is growing at a rate of 7% a year. About 80% of these residents lack adequate sanitation facilities. On average, 150 people share one toilet and 70% of slum residents are not connected to sewers. These factors contribute to widespread contamination of waterways and food supplies.

Awards and honors

Sanergy has been widely recognized for its socially-driven efforts and business model. In just the last year, it’s been named an MIT100K Business Plan Winner, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an African Leadership Network Fellow. It’s also received a grant from USAID Development Innovation Ventures, and other awards.

Because Sanergy’s core business is not microfinance, and its partnership with Kiva is unprecedented, these loans present some level of additional risk for lenders. That’s why we have not provided a risk rating for this organization.

Want to get more involved with Sanergy on Kiva? Join the lending team Sanergy Sanitation for All!




Kiva HelpRepayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 17, 2012 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $60,750 $536,584,175
Amount of Raised Inactive Loans $0 $240,350
Number Of Raised Inactive Loans 0 240
Amount of Paying Back Loans $42,375 $108,976,300
Number Of Paying Back Loans 65 112,332
Amount of Ended Loans $18,375 $427,367,525
Number Of Ended Loans 31 549,352
Delinquency Rate 4.11% 3.52%
Amount In Arrears $1,232 $2,470,527
Outstanding Portfolio $29,939 $70,115,648
Number of Loans Delinquent 14 10,959
Default Rate 22.76% 1.01%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $4,182 $4,335,486
Amount of Ended Loans $18,375 $427,367,525
Number Of Ended Loans Defaulted 10 14,050
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.06%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $298,028
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.82%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,417,000
Number Of Refunded Loans 0 4,864

Kiva HelpLoan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans To Women Entrepreneurs 40.63% 74.09%
Average Loan Size $633 $417
Average Individual Loan Size $633 $656
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,811
Average Number Of Entrepreneurs Per Group 0 8
Average GDP Per Capita (PPP) in Local Country $1,800 $3,463
Average Loan Size / GDP Per Capita (PPP) 35.16% 12.04%
Average Time To Fund A Loan 0.49 days 5.27 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $1,293.62 $79.06
  Average Loan Term 13.09 months 10.04 months

Kiva HelpJournaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 32 268,469
  Journaling Rate 75.00% 42.12%
  Average Number Of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.09
  Average Number Of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 2.06

Kiva HelpBorrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2011 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI Peers in Country All Kiva Partners
  Portfolio Yield N/A N/A 34.93%
  Profitability (Return on Assets) N/A N/A -1.11%
  Average Loan Size (% of Per Capita Income) N/A 51.50% 42.70%

Kiva HelpCountry Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

David Auerbach
Edith Karimi
Victor khaoya
Ruth Kimama
Zacharia Mbuthia
Carolyne Musyoka
Gladys Ndambuki
Dennis Ochieng
Martin Omondi
Allan Onganga
Marielle Schweickart
Patrick Seeton
Lindsay Stradley
Ani Vallabhaneni