60% of Nairobi’s population lives in slums which are characterized by inadequate housing and sanitation conditions. Human waste lies on paths and drains and an average of 650 people share each toilet cubicle. The most prevalent childhood sicknesses and 40% of infant mortality are caused by inadequate sanitation. To address this, Umande Trust, a Kenyan rights-based organization, has developed the BioCentre concept. This is a biogas generating latrine block, managed by community groups, which
Describe the critical need your solution addresses.
Umande Trust has so far completed 12 BioCentres in Kenya. They are scattered amongst various communities and have a verifiable local impact. The Umande Trust, GOAL Ireland partnership aims to achieve a community level impact by focusing on the whole of one Nairobi settlement, Mukuru (population 185,000).
Currently the initiative is completing a participatory urban appraisal on water, sanitation, waste management and drainage. This has highlighted inadequate sanitation as the most pressing need and recommends addressing this by:
• increasing the number of affordable, sustainable, community-managed latrine blocks
• increasing the number of plot-based latrines and improving the quality of existing ones
• developing a community sanitation fund as a self-propagating mechanism for scaling up the intervention
Over the next 3 years, the project aims to reach a critical mass of 20 BioCentres which will serve 12,000 daily users. Each BioCentre will donate 10% of its profits to a community sanitation fund, and this will generate over 10,000 USD per year. This fund will be used to scale up the project through providing leverage to attract Government Decentralized Funding (government allocations to local development initiatives) to develop 2 further BioCentres each year which will then also contribute 10% of profits to the fund. The fund may alternatively support the construction and upgrading of 50 ventilation-improved plot-based latrines each year through partnership with small-scale service providers. These will have lined pits to enable them to be emptied by mobile latrine exhausters into sump tanks which will link to the city sewerage network.
4 BioCentres are under construction and an additional 4 are planned by mid 2009. The prize monies will be used to build a further 3 BioCentres, bringing the project closer to the critical mass needed to have verifiable impact, and to generate a community sanitation fund large enough to incrementally scale up the project to meet the level of demand.
Explain your initiative in more depth and its stage of development.
Comprehensive: Addresses issues of pathogen related sicknesses by providing affordable improved sanitation facilities linked to hygiene promotion, health referral and child protection services
Anticipatory: Anticipates population growth and has a mechanism to scale up accordingly. Anticipates settlement upgrading and exhibits low-cost appropriate technologies
Ecologically Responsible: BioCentres treat human waste in-situ. They reduce carbon emissions by combusting methane to form water and CO2. Heat is used for cooking substitutes the use of kerosene/charcoal
Feasible: Uses readily available materials, proven technology and local unskilled labour. There are no complex or movable parts, therefore easy to maintain
Verifiable: The PUA has captured a baseline status and impact can be measured against this
Replicable: Through the community sanitation fund, a mechanism is in place for scaling up the intervention locally. The technology can be applied to informal settlements worldwide and to rural or urban institutions such as schools and offices.
How does your strategy and approach respond creatively and comprehensively to key issues?
Umande (est. 2004) is a Kenyan trust which supports communities to improve their knowledge assets and facilitates community organizing for independent action. Activities include advocacy, community financing initiatives and development of technological prototypes for urban environmental health interventions. GOAL (est. 1977) is an international humanitarian organisation which supports the poorest of the poor in accessing fundamental rights of life. GOAL has been working with children and youth in Nairobi’s slums for 10 years.
Team members: Umande Trust
Josiah Omotto: Managing Trustee. 17 years experience in participatory methods for implementing community-led water and sanitation
Pricilla Kagure: Engineer. Msc Environmental Engineering, 3 years experience in community-led sanitation projects
Margaret Chege: Community Organiser from Mukuru, BA in Environmental Health, 2 years ecperience in community mobilisation
Team Members: GOAL
Dyfed Aubrey: Architect, Urban Development Planner, 10 years experience in UK, Kosovo, Sri Lanka and Kenya
Onono Cleopas: Community Liaison Officer. Sociologist with 10 years experience in community development and programme monitoring and evaluation
Umande will oversee community mobilisation and the development of the BioCentres and GOAL will oversee community action planning and will link the project with community health initiatives. The project is supported by the provincial administration and the City Council of Nairobi