In Uganda, there is no special way to dispose hazardous medical waste. Health care facilities illegally dump their waste in swamps or bury their waste in on-site pits. These sites fill up quickly and the medical waste is causing health hazards; methane gasses in the sites have the risk to set fire and chemicals leak into the soil, contaminating ground water. In 2009, after having a blood sample taken in hospital, Lydia Naiga realized that the disposal techniques of hospitals and clinics in Uganda were not sustainable. That motivated her to start NLS Waste Services, a company that collects and disposes the hazardous medical waste from hospitals and health care clinics in Kampala.
Lack of capacity
Lydia and her team collect and dispose all the medical waste responsibly, safe and in an environmental friendly way. Her business grew rapidly over the years, gaining a 75% market share in Kampala, serving the big hospitals and health clinics. Unfortunately, the machinery of NLS lacks capacity, which forced Lydia to turn down new business opportunities. At the moment her two incinerators are used to their full capacity and each of them can handle 100 kilogram of waste per hour with 50 kilogram of ashes as a result. The new incinerator can process 350 kilogram of waste per hour, with only 20 kilogram of ash as a remainder. Thus, replacing one of her old incinerators will double her current capacity and at the same time reduce her waste.
Informal investors allow for expansion
Via BiD Network, four informal investors were introduced to Lydia. These investors saw the potential of her business. After receiving valuable advice from Inclusive Impact Investments BV on the incinerator supplier, Lydia updated her investment need, concluding that a new incinerator would help her to be up to full capacity within 6-8 months. This week NLS signed an investment deal with the four informal investors. By closing this deal she will receive the capital to purchase the needed incinerator and train her local staff. With the new incinerator she can expand to the underserved districts outside of Kampala.
Creating a safe and clean environment
NLS waste services currently serves 11 hospitals and over 400 health facilities in Kampala. By safely disposing their waste, the environmental pollution around the hospitals and clinics decreased, with less health hazards as a result. With the new incinerator, Lydia is able to expand outside of Kampala and create a safe and clean environment for an even larger population!