The spark of an idea becomes a flame of reality


Our adventure into creating energy from human waste!

Aggrey, held a dream to reduce the cost and the environmental damage of using wood and charcoal for cooking and of building healthy toilets for the school and so the dream of ‘green’ toilets to produce biogas was born. In 2017 Dr James Cooper came to our rescue with his passion for creating energy out of waste!

Bogs and teamJames spent 2017 developing prototypes, designing structures and helping to raise the money required. Construction work began in January 2018, and in February the 2-storey, steel structure began to be erected.

In Spring, a team of volunteers from ACEF travelled to Kenya to assist with the construction work and to install the biodigesters, to treat the toilet waste and convert it into biogas. The toilet cubicles were painted by talented volunteers Kate, Emily, Jack, Sarah, Helen and David, with art work from each of the cubicle sponsors, and the entire structure was decorated with a tree of life painting.

The trip culminated with a wonderful opening ceremony for the Green Toilets to celebrate the completion of the project where Aggrey danced for joy!! Replacing the previous ‘long drop’ facilities, the school now has 23 cubicles providing sanitary conditions which will save lives.

James returned to Kenya in December 2018 to finish the innovative biogas digester system and was delighted to report biogas being produced in usable quantities, with a gas burner being lit for over 4 hours on one of the days.  The biogas produced by the Green Toilets will now be used instead of wood and charcoal for cooking, saving the school money and providing many environmental and health in the loos

The Headteacher praised ACEF and its supporters, and thanked all of the volunteers for their hard work and commitment, exclaiming that “the school now had the best toilets in all of Kenya”.  For James and all the volunteers this has been a journey of learning, passion and determination, overcoming challenges to deliver Aggrey’s dream of utilising the waste to deliver useable energy for the school.  Ground breaking for all involved!

The next phase is to enhance the facilities in the girls’ toilets to support menstrual care and we need more companies and benefactors to sponsor cubicles.  Would you like to see you charity contribution celebrated in this way?

Could your school, Science club or scout group do a ‘Poo Power’ project to raise funds? Please do come to talk to us.

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