Samuel Malinga is a 27-year-old from Uganda, and serves as the founder and managing director of Sanitation Africa. Having grown up in the Naguru slum, Samuel became determined to increase access to sanitation services in remote and inaccessible communities throughout the country.
At the age of 12, Samuel moved to the Naguru slum in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, where he experienced first-hand the systemic problem of poor sanitation and waste management. “It’s so painful to me that children die of preventable diseases brought about by simple sanitation issues that we know how to resolve.” In Uganda, over 95% of the population uses latrines and septic tanks, and 60% of these pits are consistently full in Kampala. Coupled with rapid population growth, the majority of the population resides in unplanned settlements, which are congested and lack proper sanitation. This is why Samuel decided to start Sanitation Africa, through which he developed a full-cycle sanitation system that starts with the building of local low-cost but highly hygienic toilets and ends with the conversion of sludge into cooking briquettes and agriculture manure. Sanitation Africa has constructed over 358 toilets, reaching more than 1,000 households in remote and inaccessible communities throughout Uganda. “We are expanding across the country and taking toilets closer to the people,” says Samuel. “Our team is comprised of young people who have the energy and passion to deliver decent sanitation services to the community, and we are helping some of the most vulnerable households along the way. Coming up with a solution has made me very proud to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 6.”