LTM Energy: Changing the Sanitation Landscape



18/11/2019
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Bringing off-grid sanitation to the Nation

Lack of sanitation is one of the world's leading development challenges. Globally, around two billion people do not have access to appropriate sanitation and nearly a billion of them do not have any toilet. Provision of a hygienic sanitation solution coupled with regular handwashing and access to clean, drinkable water is known to have marked improvements on community health.

South Africa currently faces a challenge with sanitation given water scarcity and lack of infrastructure due to rapid urbanization, especially in schools that still have pit-latrine systems or no systems at all. The pit-latrine systems have health and safety shortfalls, servicing problems and contaminate the environment. Over 40% of South Africans DO NOT have access to safe sanitation and over 4000 South African schools have pit latrines or no sanitation. President Cyril Ramphosa’s Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) program has created a burning platform for sanitation solutions.

We conducted an audit last year and found that nearly 4,000 schools still have inappropriate sanitation facilities. Given the scale and urgency of the problem, we launched the SAFE Initiative in August last year, through which we mobilised all available resources, including pledges from business, strategic partners, and the building industry to replace all unsafe toilets in public schools. We are determined to eradicate unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities within the next three years. “

President Cyril Ramaphosa, State of the Nation Address in 2019

LTM Energy has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Envirosystems, university of Science and Technology Beijing and the Water Research Commission of South Africa, to pilot off-grid sanitation solutions. The pilot project will be demonstration the EnviVac off-grid and water saving technology across various sectors viz: retail, commercial, industrial, schools and tertiary institutions. The EnviVac technology provides an energy and water efficient solution to sanitation especially where this is no grid or municipal systems access. LTM will be given the licence mandate for Africa and India.

Recent climatic change events have also started to make us realise the value of using clean water to flush down human excreta, even for areas with sewer systems in place. During the Cape Town drought, citizens of the city realised it was not sensible to flush nine to 12 litres of drinking water each time the toilet was used. Many started instead to recycle their showering and laundry water to flush toilets.

LTM Energy will customise the EnviVac system with Envirosystems to make it more efficient and suitable for the South African market. The front-end system will use 0.001 kWh of energy and less than 1 litre of clean water per flush with minimal maintenance requirements. LTM Energy intends having the system run off solar PV to drive this disruptive off-grid sanitation technology to address the growing challenges and demand for sustainable, safe sanitation in South Africa and beyond.

The idea for this pilot and developing a customised solution came about when LTM CEO, Mr. Dhevan Pillay, attended the Reinvented Toilet expo, hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in China in 2018. “The first phase of the project will begin in first quarter of 2020. We aim to implement this system commercially with the aim of local manufacturing after the success of the pilot project, which will be tested over the course of 6 month after it is installed at various locations in South Africa. We intend to also feature innovative back-end treatment technologies that turn human waste into safe, reusable products or commodities, without the use of sewers or significant amounts of water and electricity. We believe we have the right team of specialists, academics, financiers, international and local partners to make this project a success and hence change the sanitation landscape in Africa and India” says Mr Pillay.

Khevna Naran, a chemical engineer heading LTM’s sanitation drive, is looking to re-engineer toilet systems that meet user expectations and use less resources, and developing innovative ways in which we can provide sustainable sanitation solutions to South Africa. She continues to make admirable strides, particularly, in the field of sanitation as a black woman.

LTM Energy is green economy focused business with an award-winning team and projects. Leveraging their strong execution capability, and deep sustainability and impact focus have entered into sanitation. The partnership with Envirosystems from China is an important pillar of the sanitation business and enabling safe, hygienic and accessible sanitation for communities across the continent.

LTM Energy is a proudly level 1 BEE and a Tier 1, South African company with over 100 years of combined utility management experience. They are a progressive company that is passionate about incorporating creativity and innovation in all they do, winning the previous Africa Energy Awards including many a local and international award.

For more information, please visit their website below: https://www.ltmenergy.co.za/

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