Poo Power

Harnessing Poo Power

Sanitation at its best in Mathare North, is a health hazard. kenyaThere is little or no toilet provision with most people practicing defecation into plastic bags (called flying toilets) – 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.

The aim of our Green Toilets project is to build a new toilet facility for the school children and teachers. The Green Toilets will capture all of the waste from the school and convert it into biogas to provide free energy to cook on, heat water and light the toilets. The school will no longer have to cook on open fires, burning wood and charcoal which costs a significant amount of money, damages respiratory health and is not sustainable. The liquid waste (effluent) will be converted into a rich nutrient solution and sold by the school to local farmers as a fertiliser, raising much needed funds and providing job opportunities for the school.

youn engineersThe building of the toilets will involve the local community, teachers and students. It is essential that as many people as possible are employed and educated whilst implementing this project; training them how to develop their knowledge in biogas solutions and in turn, working with them to create opportunities and careers to further improve the wider communities in which they live.

The phase one Green Toilet system will comprise of 17 toilets; 6 cubicles for boys plus a large urinal, and 11 cubicles for girls (including 2 larger toilets with sinks). Handwashing facilities will be installed to allow the students/teachers to practice safe sanitation thus minimising the spread of infection. Plus a private area with a stove will be installed for the girls so that they can wash their menstrual cups and reusable sanitary pads.digger

The design and construction of the Green Toilets is led by ACEF’s volunteer Dr James Cooper, who is an experienced Project Manager with a PHD in sustainable waste management. He, and his team, visited Brainhouse in April 2017 to scope the project and plans have been developing at a pace since then with ground being broken to dig the foundations in February 2018.

The introduction of these toilets to the school will provide significant benefit to those within the school and community:

· Increasing the quality and number of toilets to provide a greater level of dignity to all who will use them.

· enabling girls to participate in ACEF’s Dignity project, accessing sanitary products which can be maintained in these facilities.

· Increasing personal security, particularly for the girls, as the toilets will be lit at night.

· Educating the students about biogas and wastewater treatment. In particular, the older students will be given the opportunity to learn about the science, application and maintenance of ‘green’ toilets, opening up new horizons and opportunities for future employment.

· Improving the environment within the school, by moving from open fire to biogas cooking, and outside the school by reducing the human waste discharging into nearby water courses and reducing the number of plastic bags used for the collection of waste.

· Generating a sustainable income through the sale of liquid fertiliser and surplus biogas, which can be used to support the education and welfare of the young people within the school community and contribute towards the maintenance cost of the toilets.

· Providing vital employment opportunities for local young people involved with the construction of the Green Toilets, and generating income for members of the local community.

We need more funds to complete this key project and would value your support in anyway.

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