Poo Power

Green Toilets

Sanitation at its best in Mathare North, is a health hazard. There is little or no toilet provision with most people practicing defecation into plastic bags (called flying toilets)kenya – which are then flung out onto the streets, eventually draining into the water courses, which are used both for hydration and washing of clothes.  Research  shows that over 50% of the malnutrition seen in Mathare North is associated with repeated diarrhoea or intestinal worm infections caused from drinking unsafe water or poor sanitation and hygiene.

We are lucky however, at Brainhouse Academy, that we currently have nine drop hole toilets, though they are incredibly unhygienic. There is a desire from the leadership of the school to explore how we can develop more hygienic sanitary facilities that might also offer the benefit of biogas. This fuel source could then provide a cheaper means for cooking than the open coal fires they currently use. Poo power could provide a real win-win!

youn engineersIn April 2017, we took out a team of young engineers to explore the opportunities and means of creating ‘green’ toilets for the school – harvesting the waste to generate both income and energy.   Following agreement on the proposals we are now embarking on installing a new toilet facility which will recover the energy from the waste, providing biogas for the school and a liquid fertiliser which could be sold to local famers to raise additional funds for the school.  The students will also have the means to practice safe sanitation through having a place to wash their hands, minimising the spread of infection.

In addition we will be training some students to develop their knowledge of bio gas solutions with the aim of creating career opportunities and further improving the communities in which they live.Coffee can stove

It is also the hope of our lead volunteer, to take this opportunity to develop his skills and knowledge around green toilet technology so that he can embark on a new career, leading an NGO in Africa making a significant difference to the lives of young people who live in the most challenging of social environments.


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