Sarphati Sanitation Awards (SSA) 2019


In the 19th century Amsterdam’s population figures resembled those of a developing world city with unparalleled birth rates accompanied by high mortality rates. Dr. Samuel Sarphati was a doctor, chemist and city planner who lived in the city. He was convinced that proper sanitation was a crucial factor for improving public health and the standard of living. With his entrepreneurial spirit he was able to demonstrate that money could be made by collecting and moving human waste out of the city. He knew how to link different public and private parties and inspire others to become involved and continue contributing to finding sustainable solutions to the sanitation challenge.

Sarphati Sanitation Awards

World Waternet, Netherlands Water Partnership and Aqua for All, endorsed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), 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 2018 the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) joined the Sarphati Sanitation Award Partners Aqua for All and World Waternet, in organizing the SSA 2019. The Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2019 will be handed out for the fourth time during the opening of the Amsterdam International Water Week on 4 November 2019.


Nominations for the Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2019 could be submitted until 15-4-2019. Submissions have been closed.

Project Bangladesh feature Pourashava illustration - source BORDA


Theme SSA 2019: Integrated sanitation (collection, transport and treatment/re-use) solution for urban context

In the Netherlands almost all domestic wastewater is treated centralized. Flush toilets use liters of water and this wastewater is collected and discharged via the sewer system to wastewater treatment plants. This way of human and household waste water discharge is expensive and water and energy consuming. Worldwide progress towards full coverage of sanitation and wastewater treatment is insufficient to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 in 2030.

The Sanitation community is challenged for more than a decade to come up with sustainable, scalable and affordable solutions.

SSA 2013 winners SSA 2015 winners


For the Sarphati Sanitation Awards (SSA) 2019 we call upon the next Sarphati – the entrepreneur and innovator who has forced a breakthrough for an integrated, collection, transport and (decentralized) treatment system of wastewater and human waste in urban settings.
This solution has a clear Sanitation Value Chain strategy, meeting the requirements on affordability/bankability, minimized water use, acceptability and user friendliness, scalability and re-use/recycling of materials.

The Sarphati Sanitation Award 2019 consists of two prizes:

  1. Sarphati Sanitation Award for Promising Entrepreneur or consortium, focusing on groundbreaking entrepreneurial activities in the field of integrated sanitation systems in urban contexts as mentioned above .
  2. Sarphati Sanitation Award for Life Time Achievement, acknowledging individuals who have dedicated a large part of their life to influence decision makers, policy makers and implementers to find sustainable, integrated urban solutions for people worldwide who suffer from inadequate sanitation service, create value out of what was hitherto regarded as waste and thereby improve health.

Nominations for the Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2019 could be submitted until 15-4-2019. Thank you for submitting a nomination! We received many inspiring, outstanding examples of entrepreneurship in sanitation. All nominations will now be carefully assessed by the Sarphati Nomination Committee and Jury. The results cannot be discussed. Prize winners of the Sarphati Sanitation Awards 2019 will be informed.

Abhijit SOIL