Eric Rawdon PE, PMP

Project Manager at Stantec

Emily Woods

COO and Co-Founder of Sanivation


Improving Sanitation Through Resource Recovery in East Africa

In East Africa only 10 percent of fecal sludge is safely treated, and the problem worsening with increased urbanization and population growth. Despite the need, new treatment facilities are not coming online quickly. Customers are not highly motivated to pay for sanitation services and there is a widespread underestimation of what it takes to plan, design, build, and operate a treatment facility.

Sanivation, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the dignity, health, and environment of urbanizing communities in East Africa, are providing one-stop solution to treating fecal sludge in Naivasha, Kenya. Leveraging their partnerships with local governments, their knowledge of the sanitation sector, and passion for creating sustainable business models, Sanivation signed an agreement to plan, design, construct, and operate a new septage fecal sludge treatment facility neighboring the existing waste water treatment plant. To ensure sustainable financial operations of the treatment facility, their innovative system combines dried sludge with other local by-products (sawdust) to produce briquettes, which are sold as a fuel to nearby industries. Sanivation has proven their business model through a pilot project and has turned to Stantec, a global engineering, design and consulting firm, to help de-risk and design their full-scale treatment and biomass briquetting factory.

This presentation discusses the technical, logistical, regulatory, and bureaucratic challenges of designing and constructing a unique and technically complex facility in a resource-constrained area.


Eric Rawdon PE, PMP is a Project Manager at Stantec with ten years of experience working on water and Sanitation projects in the US and developing countries. He has served as a Fecal Sludge Management Expert on the IUWASH Program in Indonesia and as a Deputy Chief of Party on the USAID Water Resources, Irrigation and Sanitation Task Order. Eric holds an Environment Engineering Master’s Degree from Stanford University.



Emily Woods works as the COO and Co-Founder of Sanivation. With a master degree from the University of California, Berkeley in renewable energy, Emily helped create Sanivation, a social enterprise based in Naivasha, Kenya focused on converting waste to value. She is responsible for the development of Sanivation’s patented process that converts human waste to sustainable fuel enabling fecal sludge treatment plants that can treat waste at a profit.

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