Thursday, October 16, 2014

Napenda choo sounds the death knell for ‘flying toilets’ in slums

Kibagare biocentre is an innovative solution to the pervasive sanitation problems in the slums. PHOTO | JOHN MBARIA  

Posted  Wednesday, October 15  2014 at  14:00
·         Aptly called bio-sanitation centres (or biocentres), the complexes are one-stop shops for a host of services and businesses: Money transfer, offices, residential rooms, halls for hire, libraries, computer labs, kitchens (where clients pay a fee to cook), and bio-digesters that convert human waste into biogas and chemical fertiliser.
·         The complexes are found in in Mukuru-Kaiyaba and in Kibagare off the Nairobi-Nakuru road, Kibera, Korogocho, Mathare and other areas.

Many dreams, it is said, are dreamed on the toilet. Now, for some residents of informal settlements in Nairobi, the toilet is making their dreams come true.
“Napenda choo” (I love the toilet), reads one of the posters in a toilet in Mukuru-Kaiyaba slum. But the toilets described in the poster are not the ordinary 3ft-by-6ft tin-and-wattle “long-drop” latrines. They are multi-storey complexes, where businesses find a home amid state-of-the-art technology. These are places you go for meetings, to transfer money, take a hot shower, type your thesis, watch World Cup, cook your food or read a Robert Ludlum thriller.
They are also innovative solutions to the pervasive sanitation problems in the slums of Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya that have drawn the attention of and financial support from, among other agencies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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