Aerosan is a Canadian non-profit organization whose mission is to provide sustainable and equitable sanitation solutions to the world’s most vulnerable populations. We believe it is increasingly important to address the lack of proper sanitation in the rapidly growing cities of the global south.
Aerosan has worked in Kathmandu, Nepal since 2015 to improve urban sanitation and to provide consistent and dignified livelihoods to those who work in this sector. In Nepal’s cities, there is only one public toilet for every 64,000 people, and 95% of the waste is dumped untreated into the environment. Lack of proper management incentives for toilet businesses has led to unsanitary, unsafe conditions, even though the public has been vocal about their dissatisfaction for the past ten years.
Before the pandemic, Aerosan established a social enterprise in Kathmandu, providing a network of public toilet systems that are clean, meet the needs of women, promote health, and convert toilet waste into usable energy and fertilizer - whilst being economically sustainable. We also support toilet workers, often social outcasts, in uplifting one another - by establishing the first female-led worker-owned sanitation co-op in the region.
Our network of four facilities has already served over 1.6 Million toilet uses and in five years, will service over 6 Million yearly toilet uses and prevent over 800 metric tonnes of human waste a year from contaminating the environment. Though our facilities are temporarily closed, we are working with our partners to respond to the pandemic with support to the squatter communities where our co-op members and toilet operators reside.