Young black Namibians have the will to impact society for the better, says Kaveto Tjatjara, the CEO and founder of Flushh, a social enterprise that is building innovative waterless toilets for underserved communities in Namibia.
He said this while receiving the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship through which he will receive seed funding and strategic support to advance adequate sanitation for all. Tjatjara will receive a N$1. 4 million stipend, as well as leadership development to support Flushh’s growth as an innovative solution to address the lack of adequate sanitation facilities for people in underserved communities.
“As young black people, we have the power to positively shape our society for the better. With the right support and systems to propel us forward, we can do big things,” said the 32- year-old philanthropist.
He said the funds will be used to pay a living wage to the team members who have worked on the project all the years without pay. The money will also be used to build a resource transformation facility in the Tumweneni informal settlement of the Kavango East and increase the toilet facilities at the Siguruguru Primary School in the same area, where he erected a waterless eco-friendly toilet last year. The toilet, valued at N$ 11 000, caters to the 357 pupils enrolled at the school.
“We are also thinking of providing adequate sanitation facilities for the surrounding community members who are landless people,” he told Youth Corner yesterday.
Tjatjara was prompted to come up with an eco-toilet after seeing his grandmother walk a long distance from the homestead to relieve herself in nature. He then started working on the project to introduce waterless toilets that can work in areas without sewerage infrastructure.
The toilet is waterless, so when one flushes, instead of water, sawdust is used as a cover material.
“The work of many social innovators such as Kaveto is to take risks that help us all to ask new questions, envision new possibilities, and create a more just society,” said Zeka Avelino Tjiwana, a community leader from the Tumweneni informal settlement.
Echoing Green supports next-generation social innovators with bold ideas for tackling the world’s most urgent challenges. Selected from a global pool of nearly 1 300 applicants, these leaders join 18 Fellows announced in April to round out the 2022 Echoing Green Fellowship class. Echoing Green’s Fellowship programme, now in its 35th year, has funded nearly 1 000 Fellows, most of whom still work in the social impact field today.
President of Echoing Green Cheryl Dorsey, said they are proud to partner with these proximate leaders who are bringing creative new solutions to address centuries-old inequities in healthcare, legal justice, economic opportunity, and more.