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Making money from human waste

Slum residents can now reap big from an improved human waste management system.

They have built commercialised sanitation systems to create wealth. The centres are an integrated system of toilets and bathrooms connected to a bio-digester.

“We get dividends at the end of every year. I am happy to be part of this project,” said Samson Juma of Muvi Bio Centre, Kibera-Ghorofani.

The project is one of 67 in Kibera, Westlands, Kangemi, Mukuru, Mathare and Korogocho.

The Muvi Ghorofani and Katwekera Tosha centres in Kibera serve between 500 and 600 people daily. Unlike other toilets, these ones do not emit the usual foul smell and have kept the area clean.

“To use a toilet, a person pays Sh3 while to take a shower is Sh10 to Sh15,” said Beverly Ogao, the business development manager at Umande Trust, the agency involved in the project.

 “A bio-digester is a dome which is built underground and on top of it toilets, bathrooms and a kitchen,” said Umande Trust technical service manager Mr Michael Francis.

To optimise on space, several other structures are built on top of the toilets including halls, shops, houses or libraries.

“Several activities take place at the bio-centre. People can shower, go for calls of nature, watch movies and  football matches, hold meetings,  cook and warm water,” said Mr Francis.

One of the Katwekera Tosha halls is a church. The fee to use a hall varies and it could be hired for Sh100 every hour depending on location of the centre.

The biogas system supplies cooking gas to residents at about Sh15.

No sweat

The waste is turned into fertiliser during the biogas production process and can be used on trees, flowers and napier grass.

“By mid this year, this fertiliser will be on sale in Nairobi and other counties,”  said Mr Francis.

He added that a bigger bio-system was being built.

“We are doing a 600 cubic metre bio-system which will be used to put the waste into proper use. We will pack the solid and liquid separately to sell to farmers after the sanitisation process. We will also pack the gas in 6-kilogramme cylinders to sell locally,” he said.

It is a project that residents have been getting income from without sweating. Katwekera Tosha generates Sh110,000 every month.

Ten per cent of the money is for the projects’ kitty, 30 per cent for maintenance of the system while members get 60 per cent dividends.

“Some people go home with as much as Sh20,000 at the end of the year. This is  human investment,” said Ms Ogao.

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They have built commercialised sanitation systems to create wealth. The centres are an integrated system of toilets and bathrooms connected to a bio-digester.

“We get dividends at the end of every year. I am happy to be part of this project,” said Samson Juma of Muvi Bio Centre, Kibera-Ghorofani.

The project is one of 67 in Kibera, Westlands, Kangemi, Mukuru, Mathare and Korogocho.

The Muvi Ghorofani and Katwekera Tosha centres in Kibera serve between 500 and 600 people daily. Unlike other toilets, these ones do not emit the usual foul smell and have kept the area clean.

“To use a toilet, a person pays Sh3 while to take a shower is Sh10 to Sh15,” said Beverly Ogao, the business development manager at Umande Trust, the agency involved in the project.

“A bio-digester is a dome which is built underground and on top of it toilets, bathrooms and a kitchen,” said Umande Trust technical service manager Mr Michael Francis.

To optimise on space, several other structures are built on top of the toilets including halls, shops, houses or libraries.

“Several activities take place at the bio-centre. People can shower, go for calls of nature, watch movies and  football matches, hold meetings,  cook and warm water,” said Mr Francis.

One of the Katwekera Tosha halls is a church. The fee to use a hall varies and it could be hired for Sh100 every hour depending on location of the centre.

The biogas system supplies cooking gas to residents at about Sh15.

No sweat

The waste is turned into fertiliser during the biogas production process and can be used on trees, flowers and napier grass.

“By mid this year, this fertiliser will be on sale in Nairobi and other counties,”  said Mr Francis.

He added that a bigger bio-system was being built.

“We are doing a 600 cubic metre bio-system which will be used to put the waste into proper use. We will pack the solid and liquid separately to sell to farmers after the sanitisation process. We will also pack the gas in 6-kilogramme cylinders to sell locally,” he said.

It is a project that residents have been getting income from without sweating. Katwekera Tosha generates Sh110,000 every month.

Ten per cent of the money is for the projects’ kitty, 30 per cent for maintenance of the system while members get 60 per cent dividends.

“Some people go home with as much as Sh20,000 at the end of the year. This is  human investment,” said Ms Ogao.