Banka BioLoo: One Woman-led Business Wins with Sanitation Solutions
Sanitation facilities in India are alarmingly poor with over 600 million people; half of India’s population; having no access to toilets. People are forced to defecate in the open and this poses health hazards and leads to water contamination across the country.
Banka BioLoo is a prize-winning social enterprise set to change all that.
Banka BioLoo, led by CEO Namita Banka, is committed to environmental betterment and social uplift through ending the problem of open defection in India. By providing eco-friendly bio-toilets (or bioloos), Banka BioLoo is helping meet Millennium Development sanitation goals while actively supporting the Indian government’s vision of a cleaner, healthier society. Banka BioLoo is currently seeking further investment on Maximpact.
Banka’s bio-toilet system consists of an easy-to-erect superstructure that houses a multi-chambered bio-tank containing the bacterial culture that treats the waste.
Inside the tank, an anaerobic process inactivates the pathogens responsible for water-borne diseases while converting the organic waste into water, methane and CO2. The system requires no external energy for treatment and produces pathogen-free effluent water that is suitable for gardening and similar purposes as well as bio-gas that can be used for cooking or heating. Banka BioLoo’s bio-digester technology was initially developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an Indian government arm.
Banka BioLoo doesn’t just supply biotoilets. Its full-service business model provides for the manufacture, installation and maintenance of bioloo units and it operates a rental service for mobile bioloos. It provides consultancy around developing larger biotank units, establishing sanitation systems for new housing developments and finding wastewater treatment and recycling solutions. It also supports better sanitation on the Indian railroads, providing spares for controlled discharge toilets on trains.
All of this good work has attracted international attention. Namita Banka was the Asia-Pacific Laureate of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards in 2013 while the business won Sankalp 2013 Healthcare, Water & Sanitation Award and was a CHANGING Markets Award 2013 Winner too. Banka Bioloos is currently looking to build in its success, raising capital from impact investors.
Images courtesy of Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and Banka BioLoo.