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The University of Southampton
Sustainability Action

2015 Student Team Award

Read more about the winner and runner up of the 2015 Sustainability Action Award for a Student Team.

The winning teams
The winning teams

Joint winners of the Outstanding Student Team award: SanEco

Group members: David Aggus, Matthew Hicks, Rachel Matton, Tamsin Chisnall, Daniel True, Victoria Akintomide, Anjana Gurung, Grace Gardener, Charlotte Murphy, Rosie Davis, Jenny Taylor, Steph Kirk, James Ferguson, Jake Davies, Nikol Raykova, Ellie Roberts, Sarah McClory, Katharina Vrublevskis

SanEco is a social enterprise project based in Kenya which aims to provide better access to clean sanitation and hygiene education. The team designed a waste recycling toilet to help prevent the spread of disease which stems from the use of pit latrines or bush toilets. The SanEco toilets separate the two types of human waste, which are then converted into fertiliser sold to local farmers – this is 64% cheaper than the alternative and has tripled crop yields and therefore increased local income. The SanEco team also manufacture reusable sanitary towels which are 28 times cheaper than the alternative and made from locally sourced materials. The team work with 68 single mothers and widowed women to teach them the business skills needed to make and sell these towels. They further empower the local community by spreading the importance of menstrual hygiene in local schools, and ensuring girls no longer need to miss school each month. SanEco also produce affordable soaps from 100% natural and locally sourced materials to reduce the spread of disease. 20 soap entrepreneurs in 2 soap businesses have been set up in the last 18 months. The community is happier and healthier as they have access to clean sanitary conditions. As of April 2014 SanEco had directly improved the lives of 6,483 men, women and children in 2 regions of Kenya.

Joint winners of the Outstanding Student Team award: Right Light

Group members: Neel Gunturi, Priank Cangy, Becky Carlyle, Andreas Ortrovsky, Josh Long, Vivien Kizilec, Rebecca Rodney, Emily-Jayne Ruddick

Right Light identified a need for a more sustainable source of fuel in h rural communities in Kenya, where the use of kerosene costs up 30% of people’s daily wage and brings a high risk of house burnings and respiratory-related issues. Right Light empowers individuals and communities by setting up and training local entrepreneurs to distribute solar lamps. The lamps cost about one third the price of kerosene. They are also brighter and can charge mobile phones – a common accessory in Kenya. To date over 1000 lamps have been distributed in Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar. This year alone, over 100,000 litres of kerosene was not used as fuel due to the solar initiative. The 150 entrepreneurs who rent the kerosene lamps have almost doubled their current income, which helps them send their children to school, make improvements on their lifestyle and stimulate spending, pumping their earnings back into the community. Customers of the solar lamp see improvements in their respiratory health, save money and many have commented that their children could study longer, they could keep their businesses open for longer and therefore boost their income.



Runners up of the Outstanding Student Team award: NOCS Eco Schools Programme

Group members: Sai Tharimena, Jen Neale, Hannah Donald

This 100% volunteer-led programme was set up in 2012 in recognition that the National Oceanography Centre did not have good links with its local schools. The Eco Schools programme seeks to address this by offering free day visits to the centre to local school children at key stage 2 level. The visit days link with the key stage 2 curriculum looking at climate science and environmental management. The postgraduate environment team have taken the lead on this scheme in the past two years, giving up time from their PhDs to design the content, host groups, and mark the submissions from the schools. In 2013 alone, over 250 school children took part in this free scheme, including schools from poorer areas that may lack access to other facilities. The programme has improved NOCS reputation, its links with the local community and improved local awareness of climate change and the need for action.


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