Bioloos: climate-friendly, sustainable gender responsive toilets
Description of the project: The project enables access to safe & sustainable sanitation to women and their families, school children and rail passengers. Women suffer disproportionately from lack of sanitation. Bioloo improves their security and dignity by providing gender- sensitive and climate-friendly affordable toilet systems. Banka Bioloo is a social enterprise founded by a woman, Manita Banka. She has implemented Bioloos in 2000 schools/households and 2000 trains; thus benefitting over 10000 adults, 50000 school children, and 60,000 daily train travellers.
Climate Impact: The bioloo disposes human waste in a 100% eco-friendly manner, saves energy and water (no flush toilet) and produces bio-gas. It treats the human waste as a resource that can be re-used, and removes the need for transport of the faeces. It prevents contamination of groundwater with pathogens, and does not require any external infrastructure. The bioloos are a great technical solution for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Gender Impact: The bioloo social enterprise is led by a woman working with grass-root communities, ensuring that women’s needs are taken into account. Women are the biggest beneficiaries of the bioloo as it is documented that lack of sanitation exposes women to violence and health risks, and reduces their access to school. Women are consulted at the starting phase and are active partners in the project implementation. Financial support is organized for poor women-headed households. Banka BioLoo works to create programs and projects towards advancement of women.
Scalability /replicability: Banka BioLoo’s model is scalable and replicable across geographical areas or terrains; suited for all income groups and social backgrounds; for urban, peri-urban and rural areas; beaches; or hilly areas – almost anywhere. The bacteria used can withstand temperatures from -5°C to 50°C. Since 2012, the social enterprise has installed bioloos in 20 Indian states and has developed partnerships with other organisations. Bioloo is currently working on ways to take the bio-digester technology to other countries, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa.