Kenyan entrepreneur feted in New York for poor people toilet venture
Charlie Puth (right), the pitchperfect singer who has become a viral star, on Tuesday played an intimate set to recognise an entrepreneur who has turned sanitation needs in Kenya into an eco-friendly business.
Mr Puth, who said he had become more accustomed to playing arenas, sang before little more than 100 people at a New York award ceremony of Global Citizen, the anti-poverty activist organisation.
The group honoured David Auerbach, founder of Sanergy, a start-up that designs affordable toilets. Sanergy franchises the toilets to low-income residents in Kenya, with the waste picked up daily and converted into fertiliser, energy and other renewable, in-demand products. A UN report in 2015 said one in three people in the world lacks basic sanitation, with open defecation carrying grave risks to long-term health.
“In New York, we have toilets, we have sewers and we have treatment plants — and it’s a luxury,” Sanj Sanampudi, Sanergy’s chief financial officer, told the concert.
“What we’re doing at Sanergy is trying to make that accessible to everyone, forever,” he said.
Global Citizen presented a grant of $10,000, which Sanampudi said would bring another 2,000 people onto the network of Sanergy. The firm says its toilets are used more than 53,000 times daily and directly or indirectly have created more than 900 jobs.