Intisar Bashir Kurfi is an entrepreneur and housewife who works to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 which is providing clean water & sanitation and which gave birth to a company, Sustainovation Solutions.
Sustainovation Solutions converts sachets of ‘pure water nylon’ into interlocking tiles that last longer than the conventional ones and makes eco-friendly toilets using wastes from pep bottles.
Intisar Bashir Kurfi founded Sustainovation Solutions after she and her team visited a Fulani Community near Gwarinpa in Abuja, and discovered they do not have drinking water and toilets; they practiced open defecation. She decided to provide that for them.
Intisar is an Abusite. She studied Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. After her Architecture degree, she went for an Advanced Diploma in Interior Designs at Albedo Designs School, Abuja.
Her company uses pep bottles like the one from bottled water and plastic drinks to build toilets instead of the usual blocks. “You gather the pep bottles, you fill them with sand and you lay them, just like you lay your blocks and build toilets or any structure.” She said.
The toilets are built using eco-friendly materials. “For instance, 15,000 bottles can make a two-bedroom flat. We use these discarded bottles, put sand in them, and use them to build. They are bullet-proof, and they are insulating.
“When the weather is hot the building is cold and when the weather is cold, the buildings are warm. This is something that is a waste; we use it as a resource. Nigeria has the highest number of people practicing open defecation with about 40,000 million, and we know this product can help us stop it.” She explained.
Intisar Bashir Kurfi’s company also makes inter-locking tiles from waste. “For instance, 500 pure water sachet that can be thrown in the dustbin can be used to make one interlocking tile. We can use any nylon paper to do this. We are done with this on our pilot space and we are about to go to the market.” She explained
The great innovation has the potential to generate huge revenue and create many jobs. The product can even be used to build roads and houses. “Every day in Abuja, houses are being built, and people need the interlocking tiles in most cases for these houses.
“From now till the next 100 years, there will be demand for it, so I believe there is great potential in the innovation. Also, research has shown that these plastics don’t degrade into the soil, and so, they should have a long-lasting effect.” She said.
She and her team hope to create 500 jobs in the next two years directly and indirectly when they are fully operational.
Intisar Bashir Kurfi is also the CEO of Afrique Collections and Designs Ltd. An interior design company. She is married with three children.