Toilet products to help save water
Back in 2016, Rori Mpete and Thoriso Thobejane realised that precious drinking water was literally being flushed down the toilet. Millions of litres of clean, potable water is wasted when people use it to flush their toilets.
The two young men from Tshwane in Gauteng started a company called TnM Innovations, now known as Loo Afrique, after a funny incident in a bathroom.
Mpete, tired of broken basins in public ablution facilities which prevented him from washing his hands, one day decided to use the fresh water in the cistern to get the job done. "I told my friend about this and we laughed," he said.
Later, however, he realised that his innovative solution to broken basins could be turned into a business plan, as well as a way to help water-scarce South Africa make each drop count.
Loo Afrique designed three clever inventions based around this experience - the Loo Cap, the Pee Basin and the Evo Flush. The Loo Cap is a wash basin that fits onto the toilet cistern. "We removed the lid of the cistern and replaced it with a basin. This allows you to wash your hands while you flush, thereby saving water," said Mpete.
Similarly, the Pee Basin is a urinal fitted with a basin. The Evo Flush is a new type of toilet system using only three litres of water compared to the six litres of a normal toilet. All these products can be fitted onto existing plumbing systems.
Loo Afrique's inventions saw the company winning the Gauteng Accelerator Township Economy (Gate) innovation competition. Run by the Gauteng government's Innovation Hub, the competition rewards emerging business people who develop exciting new products that solve issues in communities. Loo Afrique will now be taken into an incubation programme, where they will receive the support they need to make their dreams a reality.
"We aspire to change many lives in our townships; not only in saving water and improving hygiene, but also in job creation," Mpete said.
The article was first published in Vuk'uZenzele.