Friday, October 31, 2014

Meet the Biocenters: Lindi Usafi

Staff at Umande Trust recently checked in with the Lindi Usafi bio-centre and was delighted to find how significant an impact the bio-centre has continued to have on the Lindi community. This was no surprise considering how far the bio-centre has come and the partnership community members have with Umande. Tucked within a collection of housing structures in Lindi, the bio-centre was first initiated in 2006 and developed a bit slowly, but is today on the fast-track towards being completely finished and operational. Since its beginnings, one could begin to see the increase in sanitation surrounding the bio-centre, a decrease in illness within the community, and a new location for community members to hold events and activities. 

Unique to this bio-centre is its connection to a nearby set of latrines. These latrines have a history of their own, once being dilapidated to the point of extreme disgust, as can be seen in the below picture. Umande, having already constructed the Lindi Usafi bio-centre, consulted with the community and agreed to help renovate the latrines and connect these latrines’ waste to the bio-centre. As a result, the Lindi Usafi bio-centre is able to use the waste from these latrines to produce biogas. Without the partnership between the latrines and the Lindi Usafi bio-centre group, the renovation and sustainability of these community latrines would be much more difficult and possibly would not have happened.
The success of the bio-centre and latrines is sustained by a 37 member group. Of these 37 people, the dedication and accountability they put forth is why the bio-centre is a success today. These members have been there since the beginning and have spearheaded its ongoing development.  

At the centre, a variety of events are held in the community room upstairs. Many days, young children take pre-primary classes upstairs and the area around the bio-centre is extra festive as a result. Also, the bio-centre is used to host events such as church group meetings, elderly group meetings, and football match viewings. 

Looking to the future of the Lindi Usafi bio-centre, Umande and the Lindi community expects great progress. Moving forward, the group members and the community expect overall health to continue to increase. This will likely come via disease rate decrease, fewer sicknesses, general sanitation in the environment surrounding the bio-centre, and an increase in community cohesiveness. These are all positive changes Lindi Usafi has seen occur since the bio-centres inception, and these improvements are only going to increase. In addition, the Lindi Usafi Bio-Centre has great aspirations to start a bakery, do chicken farming, and renovate the surrounding area of the bio-centre. There will be financial and land flexibility in the coming years, and the bio-centre is way ahead of the game in its plans to take full advantage of this in order to expand its services.

All in all, the horizon is bright for the Lindi community. Bio-centres across Kibera have proven to make a lasting positive impact on the communities they are located in. This is proving to be true in Lindi, and will continue to be as engagement and support between Umande, the group, and community stakeholders remain.

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