In 2013, World Waternet, Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and Aqua for All initiated the biennial Sarphati Sanitation Award (SSA) to honor the outstanding contribution of individuals or organizations to the global sanitation challenge through entrepreneurship. The Sarphati Sanitation Awards are named after Dr. Samuel Sarphati, an industrious entrepreneur and health practitioner who started a profitable business in the 19th century to free Amsterdam of human waste by transporting it out of the city and to be used as fertilizer for crops such as wheat, which was in turn supplied to a low-cost bread factory. His initiatives greatly improved the quality of life of poor people in the city.
The Awards are endorsed by the Netherlands Water Partnership and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year, Bosman Water Management and New Venture Fund have joined the sponsorship team, enabling the awarding of a second prize, the Sarphati Sanitation Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Jury unanimously voted to award the 2015 Sarphati Sanitation Life Time Achievement Award to Dr. Kamal Kar, founder of the CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) Foundation. The Foundation helped create a paradigm shift that has positively influenced the behavior of millions of people. In thousands of villages throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, people have started building their own toilets and helping their peers to do the same, in order to make entire communities free of open defecation.
The Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr Eberhard van der Laan presented the Award during the opening of the Amsterdam International Water Week on November 2nd.
At this Water Week, Dr Kar also gave a Keynote Speech during the workshop ‘New finance models for urban sanitation’ on November 3rd, 2015.