An Overview Of Our Solution
Sanitation is one of the greatest challenge at local markets in the rural and urban areas of Kenya. County governments are mandated with the provision of sanitation blocks at these markets but they often fail. Several of these markets have been closed down by the relevant public health officers due to their unhygienic conditions. At the Dagoretti Market, MCDI has found a solution to the sanitation challenge that is also contributing towards the reduction in GHG emissions, providing revenue for the members of a women’s group and organic fertilizer. Bio-slurry from human waste is being used as a fertilizer to plant trees and ornamental plants, while the bio-slurry from the second digester that uses slaughterhouse and market waste is being used by organic farmers of vegetables. This solution is ripe for replication to other markets in Kenya.
- Population Impacted 12,000
- Continent: Africa
Local market in Kenya provide a livelihood for many people, including those who bring their farm produce to sell, the traders who buy produce in bulk and resell, the retailers – many of whom are women and the providers of support services, such as food, drinks and entertainment. In many cases, the sanitation blocks that are provided by these county governments are poorly maintained and expensive to operate, even when there is a fee for the use of the facilities. The quick accumulation of human waste at these toilets, many of which are not connected to a central sewage system is a big challenge. Further the accumulation of mounds of slaughterhouse and market waste is often an eye-sore at these markets. The area around Dagoretti Market is densely populated, with approximately 20,000 people resident in the area and a further 5,000 people visiting the market, especially since it is a major supplier of meat to the city of Nairobi.
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt
Waste from local markets is a missed opportunity that could be converted into biogas for use in cooking and heating, with the bio-slurry being used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for growing food crops and trees to rehabilitate degraded forests. MCDI has installed a digester for human waste and another for slaughterhouse and market waste that generate biogas for cooking and heating and bio-slurry for use as an organic fertilizer. The Dagoretti Biolatrine is managed by a women’s group and it won the 2016 SEED Gender Equality Award for Social Entrepreneurship. We are seeking to replicate this successful model in markets all over Kenya by working with county governments, who shall allocate land and we shall train women’s groups on how to manage these facilities so that they can generate revenue while providing a critical service and contributing to GHG avoidance by converting waste into harmless biogas, which shall be used as a fuel.
Type of intervention
Describe your behavioral intervention
The behavior that we seek to change is that among policy makers and government officers about waste. We would like everybody to see waste as a valuable resource, and not as a nuisance. By installing simple biodigesters, all residential and commercial facilities can convert their waste into a valuable fuel and the bio-slurry into a fertilizer, which they can use or sell. Today, in many parts of Kenya, waste is treated as something to quickly be removed from an area and be dumped either in an overflowing land-fill or the sewage is often dumped directly into rivers and open drains, where it pollutes the water and emits foul smells. Where they exist, sewage treatment facilities are often over-burdened and non-functioning, resulting in raw sewage polluting the rivers and other water sources, such as wells and ground water features such as wetlands.
As needed, please explain the type of intervention in more detail
Lobbying and advocacy will be done to ensure that national and county governments enact policies and laws in their building codes that will require a separation of waste water from toilets with that from bathrooms so that the sewage waste can be converted into biogas and used on site.
Describe your implementation
Organize study tours and exchange visits for policy makers from national and county governments to our biolatrine at the Dagoretti Market and to the demonstration site of the Biogas International/Flexi-Biogas facility, where they will see inexpensive and effective domestic and commercial bio-digesters that can be installed at diverse facilities. Ensure that the county governments make allocations within their budgets for the construction of suitable biodigesters in all their local markets. Provide training for selected women and youth to effectively run the biogas facilities.
Biogas International is a private company that has developed a range of biogas digesters and equipment to use the biogas for diverse domestic and commercial purposes, including fruit drying, chicken hatcheries, milk pasteurization and cooling, and for cooking. The Kiambu County government, which has provided us with land to construct the biolatrine. The Community Action for Change women’s group, which won the 2016 Gender Equality SEED Award for social entrepreneurship see https://www.seed.uno/awards/all/dagoretti-market-biogas-latrine.html The members of the women’s group have shown the local residents that running a toilet facility can be done in a classy and clean way and generate some handsome income for the managers through a broad range of revenue streams. The women maintain a clean facility that is a joy for visitors and a source of pride for the Dagoretti Market, because many high level visitors come to visit the facility and learn from it. The women have been invited by many interested stakeholders to construct and manage similar facilities in other markets, which such services are lacking.
Who adopted the desired behaviors and to what degree?
Initially, when the women started managing the biolatrine facility, they were mocked by some people who felt that running a toilet facility is for the lower-class, uneducated people, with no other options. However, over time, many of these people are now envious of the women because they see that the facility is clean, it does not smell bad because the waste is broken down into biogas and the gas is passed through a unit that removes the sulfur that could emit a smell. Because of this facility, the women have been requested by others to assist them to construct similar facilities. Several other requests have come from people whose local markets have been closed because of poor hygiene. A officer with the Kiambu County government has invited MCDI or the women’s group to a market in his area of jurisdiction to construct a similar facility. The demand for these facilities is high, what is lacking is the capital to construct similar facilities.
How did you impact natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions?
The Environmental Resource Management (ERM) firm based in the UK calculated that approx.. 400 kg CO2e per month was avoided by the use of biogas, compared to the previous scenario where cooking was done using firewood and charcoal. Since then, an additional biogas digester has been installed, which is processing slaughter house waste and this has increased the GHG emissions avoided because more cooks are now connected to the biogas supply. By using biogas, the cooks are not using firewood, which was often illegally poached from the surrounding Thogoto Forest, which is a major watershed forest. Therefore by using this alternative fuel, there are many additional environmental benefits, because in the past the raw waste was dumped onto the surrounding farms and also into River Kabuthi that flows through the market.
What were some of the resulting co-benefits?
Community benefits include the availability of a clean facility for people to relive themselves when they visit the market. In the past, women were particularly adversely affected by lack of such a clean facility as they faced a lot of dangers and indignity and the open defecation around the market meant that the surrounding farms were abandoned by the owners due to the high density of human waste on them. The River Kabuthi that flows next to the forest is now cleaner because it is not polluted with the human waste and the waste from the slaughter houses. There is less pressure on the Thogoto Forest that is next to the market, which was in the past the main source of firewood for cooking. The women are able to generate significant revenue from the facility from the charges to the users, for hiring out the restaurant and retail shops for mobile money services and other goods and services. The Dagoretti Market has become are better place for investors and buyers of the farm produce and the meat that is processed at the market.
The initial capital for constructing the biolatrines can come from donors, private investors or government subsidies. Thereafter, the facilities are able to generate adequate revenue to be self-sustaining.
Return on investment
The construction of each biolatrine, with the biodigesters costs about $15,000. The facility generates $1,000 per month from the restaurant, toilet facilities, showers, laundry services and retail shops.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?
In collaboration with the respective county governments, identify suitable land within the public markets for constructing a biolatrine with the associated infrastructure for a water kiosk, laundry services and retail shops. Construct the facility and identify a suitable group of women to manage the facility. Women are better suited because they tend to be cleaners and also their groups are generally more cohesive and better managed. Train the women on customer care, biogas technologies (including the correct detergents to use so that they do not reduce the micro-bacterial activity in the biodigesters). Work out a re-payment plan, whereby the women will repay the capital used to construct the facility and eventually they will be able to run it with no debts.