The Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2017


Join the boost for global sanitation efforts!

World Waternet , Netherlands Water Partnership and Aqua for All initiated the biennial Sarphati Sanitation Award in 2013 to honor the outstanding contribution of individuals or organizations to the global sanitation and public health challenge through entrepreneurship.

In 2017 the Sarphati Sanitation Awards were handed out for the third time during the Amsterdam International Water Week (30 October). In 2015 it was decided to make two Prize Categories and the CLTS Foundation was awarded for Lifetime Achievement in the creation of demand for sanitation.  As for the Young Entrepreneurs category Safi Sana was rewarded.

In 2016 the Toilet Board Coalition did a thorough screening of around 100 entrepreneurial sanitation initiatives and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The World Bank both are active promoters of sanitation as a business.  Sanergy, Samagra, Safi Sana and others have all received quite some prices so it will be quite a challenge for the Nomination Committee to find new entrepreneurs to highlight for the Sarphati Sanitation Awards for Young Entrepreneurs this year.

The evaluation held in 2016 amongst the Sarphati Jury and Nomination Committee revealed that the focus should still be on entrepreneurship in 2017.  Their recommendations were: Keep the focus on urban sanitation – open defecation in cities is increasing and focus on the challenge of small cities which especially in Africa are growing very fast. And keep stimulating entrepreneurs but acknowledge the role of public servants, nominate individuals who create value out of what was hitherto regarded as waste and thereby improve health and do this on a sizeable scale.

The jury of the Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2017 decided to honor Sasha Kramer, co-founder of SOIL, the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding work to provide sustainable sanitation services in Haiti. The winner of the Award for Young Entrepreneurs 2017 is FINISH Society, an Indian based organization which improves the quality of life of people by providing increased access to safe sanitation integrated with financial inclusion, health care and waste management, leading to a better quality of life for all.

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Previous Winners


Kamal Kar of the CLTS foundation was the proud winner of the Life Time Achievement Award. Kamal Kar says: “I would like to use the money that came along with the Award  in different ways focused towards strengthen CLTS Foundation’s outreach programme to countries where basic sanitation is urgently needed and the governments are prepared to empower local communities for collective behaviour change and believe in community led approaches. This would also be useful for us to prepare collaborative proposals and approach many donor agencies to join us in our effort of scaling up and advocacy to take the learnings on sanitation from MDG period to SDG focused towards creating an Open Defecation Free world.”

In 2015 Aart van den Beukel won the Young Entrepreneurial Award. He is director by the social enterprise Safi Sana. The € 25.000,- of the Sarphati Sanitation Award will be used for the roll out of the marketing/sales program for the complete agro-input portfolio. The program is done in cooperation with Wageningen University, they have knowledge on greenhouse and irrigation systems and Tikola Ltd/ East West Seeds concerning the supply of high quality vegetable seeds. For more information visit the Safi Sana website.


Sanergy Logo_Social Media (1)
In 2013 Sanergy won the first Sarphati Sanitation Award ever. Sanergy was established in 2010. Sanergy is a social enterprise dedicated to building healthy, prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable to everyone — starting in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. They installed their first toilet in the Mukuru kwa Reuben area of Nairobi on November 19, 2011. A couple of questions to Sanergy:

Which major achievement have you made since winning the award?
“As of June 2015, Sanergy has installed more than 700 Fresh Life Toilets in Nairobi’s informal settlements, we have removed more than 5,400 metric tons of waste from the community, and we have created over 700 jobs.”

What are the future plans?
“Currently, Sanergy is exploring additional distribution models for the Fresh Life Toilets, including partnering with landlords for a residential toilet model and with schools to provide hygienic sanitation to students.”

For more information about Sanergy please visit their website and keep up to date.

About Samuel Sarphati

Samuel Sarphati (Amsterdam, January 31, 1813 – June 23, 1866) was a Jewish doctor, chemist, philanthropist and entrepreneur who left an indelible mark on Amsterdam. Sarphati played an important role in the development of education, health, urban and commercial development in the city in the middle of the 19th century. He was a man of many fields of interest, able to run his initiatives right through the Amsterdam bureaucracy in order to get things done. Through his innovative mindset and persistent attitude, he reached multiple breakthroughs for the urban poor.


The secretariat for the Sarphati Sanitation Awards of 2017 will be hosted by Aqua for All based in The Hague. For questions or additional information please send an e-mail to or call +31 (0) 70 7200870.