Sanitation business is good business
How Odigbo increased his income by keeping his community clean
When Odigbo Moses Edo first heard of SATO pans, he was a trader who sold cement and mattresses in Ainu Council Ward, Oju Local Government Area, Benue State, north-central Nigeria. Going about his daily business and activities, he often wondered how he could contribute to making his environment cleaner in his own little way. This led to his interaction with the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCOM) in his community. He never imagined that he could make a lot of money and turn it into his major line of business.
On one of such interactions, he was invited for a training on selling toilet products, record keeping, innovations, and installation of SATO pans as part of UNICEF’s ‘Make a Splash! programme in the neighboring Ado local government area, in Benue State.
The training opened me up to other building materials like rods, hand trowel pipes, tiles, etc., and I was empowered with 315 SATO Pans. Since then, my business has grown exponentially.
As an ingenious businessman, Odigbo knew that the best way to grow his business was to add the old to the new. He combined his knowledge of selling cement with his knowledge of selling and installing SATO pans to produce and sell precast toilets fitted with SATO pans. This made his business a one-stop-shop for the sale and installation of toilets.
Odigbo started his sanitation business with 315 SATO pans and a workforce of two; him and his wife. His business has now expanded to employ 10 more workers, and they have installed over 4,000 SATO pans and stools in homes in Oju and Ado local government areas of Benue State.
I am happy to install toilets because I contribute to the cleanliness of our community. Before now, the community was filthy, with people defecating openly. The case is different now. Our community has improved greatly in terms of hygiene. My workers also support many households by teaching them how to keep their toilets clean.
“The business has greatly improved my income. I bought a motorcycle with the money I made from the business, and I branded it with UNICEF as a form of appreciation and to also tell people about the impact of UNICEF in my life," Odigbo said.
As part of the ‘Make a Splash’ programme, funded by LIXIL, UNICEF is promoting the use of improved latrines, financing for sanitation business expansion, and knowledge management to accelerate the achievement of an open defecation free Nigeria. Toilet business owners like Odigbo are contributing to making it possible.