Malawi urine project earmarked for world award

The expression “taking the pee” has taken on new meaning. While this colloquial term is an impolite way of indicating someone is making fun of you, This is not the case with a 58 year old man Goodfellow Phiri.

Phiri training pupils on urine harvesting.

Phiri training pupils on urine harvesting.

Phiri buys a 5 litre bucket of urine at the price of K300  a  20 litre bucket is bought at K1,000.

He  uses the urine to manufacture organic manure.

Phiri with funding from Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has managed to turn the project into a house hold name in the capital Lilongwe’s populous Area 25 where people are flocking to his factory to buy the liquid fertilizer manufactured from urine.

“I have not bought fertilizer for the past seven years and I harvest a lot of maize and other crops after applying this fertilizer,” said Phiri.

Phiri who has a Diploma from Bunda College says he is happy that the project is currently gaining momentum.

“Let me thank some international Non Governmental Organisation for choosing to work with me in promoting the project,”  he said.

Phiri commended Self Help Africa and Good Nebors for unwavering support towards the project.

“We are growing big and bigger each passing day in urine fertilizer and currently we have elected big tanks at Nsungwi market of 2,000 to 3,000 liters capacity and we always encourage our vendors there not to urine anywhere but in those designated places,” said Phiri.

Meanwhile, Urine for wealth project has emerged one of only 6 finalists out of 400 contenders from 60 countries in the world.

Phiri said in October, 2014, Hivos Social Innovation Award (HSIA) invited entrepreneurs from around the world to submit innovative projects for social innovation award competition.

Goodfellow Tsilizani Phiri

Goodfellow Tsilizani Phiri

According to Phiri, 400 projects were submitted from 60 countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India, China, Afganistan, USA and  Russia.

Phiri said Malawi submitted 5 projects to contest and these were;  Gender equality, Youth empowerment in agriculture, Biogas energy, afforestation  and the winning Urine for wealth.

He said in the preliminary round, selection was by online public voting.

Phiri said consequently, only 20 projects with most votes out of 400 contenders excelled through to semi-finals and Urine for wealth went through the vetting.

According to Phiri,  the semi-finals involved personal interviews through skype by a panel of judges in Holland, Amsterdam, assignments and submitting a full project proposal.

Phiri said  only 6 contenders among them Urine for wealth project out of 20 semi-finalists excelled through to the finals which are slated for February 5,  2015 in Holland, Amsterdam.

During the finals only 2 winners will get the prize of €15,000 each.

Phiri who owns Environmental Industries is an  architect of  the project which is representing Malawi at the World contest for social innovation award in Amsterdam.

The finals will involve physical presentation of the project before a panel of judges.

Urine for wealth is a project about harvesting human urine and processing the same into organic fertilizers called Bionitrate.

According to Phiri,  Bionitrate is 100% liquid organic nitrogen applicable to crops, landscape and orchards as alternative to chemical fertilizers.

The fertilizer is made by Environmental Industries in Lilongwe, Area 25.

The technology aims at promoting organic farming in the work of costly imported chemical fertilizers and degraded agricultural soils.

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24 thoughts on “Malawi urine project earmarked for world award”

  1. amina says:

    What is needed here is to expand the project to other areas. This is a welcome idea. Very good and it will benefit the rural masses heavy. Fertiliser kudula and amagugitsa nthaka yathu. Zimenezi amapanga a C Code or some other organisation attached to this name. How far are there with their project? Lets utilise what we have. Kumidziko timangothila mikhodzo pa zinyalala ndiyeno kuthira kumunda. I dont know how healthy is this idea. This is real news guys. Lets support it for the good of mother Malawi. Bravo Mr Phiri. With his diploma he can do this what about you, what are you waiting for? Kikiki!

  2. Kanyimbi says:

    Good innovation man. Malawi need people who can think like him.

  3. Hagar the Horrible says:

    Continue working on your idea and perhaps send your proposal to Gates Foundation for a larger and commercially viable project. Gates usually gets fascinated by such innovative ideas. We have the capacity to produce enough urine in Malawi and significantly cut on the use of fertilizers. Think of all the urine that goes to waste every night at Bwandilo, Biwi, Kamba, and all other drinking places as well as households. It can surely be recycled and used productively.

    I’m already feeling the urge to pee and wondering if I should waste the urine by flushing it down the toilet. Work on the idea quickly man!

  4. Sacks Chilli says:

    So how much is the fertilizer selling for per bag (of what weight?)? Are ther any selling points in other districts?

  5. Zuze says:

    Mr Phiri is from Mitundu, Lilongwe.

  6. yungsai says:

    jst add rainy water wt salt kukokera ikwane five liters

  7. Gringotts says:

    The Phiri Clan is a Chewa Clan

  8. kaukonde says:

    But how then does this work because when we urinate behind trees they dry up or do they need to be phirinised first

  9. Hello says:

    Good news. Just a quick question, though: How is Mr. Phiri ensuring that the liquid fertilizer is pathogen free since some of the urine may have pathogens such as those that cause bilharzia? The issue should not be stopping the project but ensuring that the project operates at high standards that prevent spread of diseases. Disinfection of the liquid fertilizer may be necessary.

  10. ine says:

    Brilliant koma mukutibera mkodzo 5litre K300? Pakwanira 5litre ya mkodzo pali ntchito man,

  11. Chilungamo says:

    Apa tivomele, atumbuka muli ndi nzelu, even though nyasa times is biased towards announcing tumbuka achievements. Well done Phiri, but you just want urine from young girls, bwanji akulu?

  12. Zosautsa says:

    I note with sadness. It is high time we start thinking big not this type of thinking. Just look at the reward of only 15,000 Euros, really? This is a mockery to us Malawians. It is not sustainable and ideal for small gardens.

    You can think big and in a sustainable way in the same vein for instance turn your business to use litter (zinyalala) from City Assembly Mtaya, to produce huge volumes at the same time helping cleaning our cities.

    Ndakuyambila kuganiza mwakuya utha kupitiliza from there. Come up with that ambitious project proposal

  13. Bongololo says:

    I have cows serving the purpose of giving me their bibi ndi nkozo. I don’t have to beg some kachasu drunkard for his shoopit piss.

  14. mmalawi weniweni says:

    Ndi lusube

  15. ASAAAAAAA….URINE?MIKODZO? THAT,MY FRIEND, IS VERY GOOD. WHEN WE TELL YOU YOUNG ONES TO WORK HARD IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS….WE WANT SUCH KIND OF INVENTIONS ! ALL THIS GUY NEEDS TO DO IS TO PLACE MOVABLE/PORTABLE URINALS IN MARKETS AND DEPOTS….BOOM! HE’S A BILL GATES!

  16. ASAAAAAAA….URINE?MIKODZO? THAT,MY FRIEND, IS VERY GOOD. WHEN WE TELL YOU YOUNG ONES TO WORK HARD IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS….WE WANT SUCH KIND OF INVENTIONS ! ALL THIS GUY NEEDA TO DO

  17. thyuzy says:

    Wow, very impressive and innovative, keep it up Mr Phiri. Surprise surprise no comments on such an inspiring story, and yet if it was politics would have been a different story.

  18. chibwatiko says:

    nzeru koma izi. Bravo phiri.

  19. Ulaha Observer says:

    weldone bwana

  20. this is a very encouraging innovation project and need to be supported by all stakeholders & govnt as awhole inorder eradicate the very exobitant expensive fertilizer price

  21. titus Scoti says:

    Izi ndiye nkhani zothandiza chitukuko cha dziko. Atiuze momwe achitira a phiriwo, nkodzo ulipo wochuluka pa Malawi. Mwina tingapume kugula chemical fertilisers. Keep it up!

  22. Big brain says:

    He is a genuase

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