Community

Compost Toilets – Kenya.

It is estimated that 40% of the world’s population do not have access to a toilet or basic sanitation.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The compost toilet project is a partnership with Ecofinder Kenya for the purpose of building ecological sanitation toilets (compost toilets) for communities in the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. The compost toilets provide valuable organic fertiliser that can be used to improve local, small-scale farming, as well as providing basic sanitation in a region where water borne diseases from lack of sanitation are rife. Watch this short clip from a recent project visit by Sustainable Table:

Sustainable Table Compost Toilet Project from SustainTable on Vimeo.

PROJECT BENEFITS

Need for basic sanitation
  • It is estimated that 40% of the world’s population do not have access to a toilet or basic sanitation.
  • Lack of basic sanitation causes contamination of water sources, which leads to water borne diseases.
  • Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation, two of the major causes of diarrhoea. According to UNICEF, the disease kills at least 1.2 million children under the age of five each year.
Generation of natural fertiliser
  • Ecosan Toilet’s convert human waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser over a period of six months. This reduces the cost burden of purchasing chemical fertilisers, improves soil fertility and enables community members to return to organic farming and have access to fresh, local food.

Protection of the local wetlands
  • Soil quality has been severely depleted due to inefficient farming techniques. Farmers are now being forced to encroach on the wetlands in search of soil they can grow things in. This is not only degrading the local environment but is also causing human-wildlife conflicts, in particular with hippos.
  • It is important to protect the wetlands as they provide important ‘eco-system’ services including the provision of fresh water and fish for consumption, which is important for the community’s long-term sustainability.

PROJECT UPDATE

In 2012 we were able to further our support of the project, providing Ecofinder with funds to help them scale up their work by 350% and build 35 new compost toilets. Ecofinder also trained more community members in organic farming methods, purchased equipment to support small-scale irrigation for subsistence farms and install four biogas digesters as a means of trialling their benefits to the community.

Click here to read the blog that Hayley wrote after returning from a project visit in October 2011, and here to read the most up to date post about the outcomes of the project so far.

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