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American who’s turning slum shit into billions

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An American entrepreneur behind an initiative aimed at promoting  the right to sanitation in the slums of Kenya by increasing access to and usage of hygienic sanitation facilities was on Tuesday recognised at an award ceremony in New York where his organisation received a grant of Ksh1.03 million.

David Auerbach, the founder of Sanergy, a start-up that designs affordable toilets was honoured by Global Citizen for his work in the slums where the organisation Sanergy franchises toilets with the waste being picked up daily and converted into fertilizer, energy and other renewable, in-demand products.

READ: Newest Nairobi highrise to come down

Charlie Puth, the pitch-perfect singer who has become a viral star, played an intimate set to recognise Auerbach. Puth, who said he had become more accustomed to playing arenas, sang before little more than 100 people at the award ceremony of Global Citizen, the anti-poverty activist organisation.

“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.

Sanampudi said the grant 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.

David Auerbach show how to use a toilet.

Hugh Evans, the chief executive officer of Global Citizen, said that such entrepreneurship lay at the heart of the UN-backed goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Related: Little known slum school wins the hearts of Chinese firms

The concert with Puth — who ended his set with “See You Again,” his falsetto-driven ballad with Wiz Khalifa whose video is the second most-watched of all time on YouTube — is one of a series of events by Global Citizen leading up to its annual concert on September 23 in Central Park.

The concert aims to put pressure on governments to maintain foreign aid — a timely goal with President Donald Trump vowing to slash US assistance — to preserve progress on global development.

Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Killers, Pharrell Williams and The Chainsmokers will play the concert — whose tickets are free to fans who pledge to take actions such as petitioning their governments on aid.

This article originally appeared on citizen.co.za

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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