Keeping Poop in the Loop!

We’re keeping “Poop in the Loop!” Kenya Connect is partnering with GiveLove an NGO committed to improving lives through clean sanitation. In February and March, the GiveLove team traveled to Wamunyu to install the first school compost toilet and to educate and train teachers, parents, homesteaders and students on the power of composting toilets.

Clean sanitation is a challenge in rural Kenya. Due to a lack of water and infrastructure at schools and homesteads, pit toilets are installed to handle human waste. Although the pits are dug and usually lined with cement, they often crack and sometimes collapse leaking harmful bacteria into the water table. The pit latrines smell and attract flies, and at schools, students sometimes “miss” when doing their “business” resulting in barefoot students stepping in human waste.

Since 2010, the GiveLove organization has worked in emergency and development contexts to introduce low-cost, decentralized sanitation systems based on container-based sanitation and humanure composting approaches. Specializing in dry toilets – also known as compost toilets – GiveLove’s technical teams work in high-need and water-scarce areas to provide safe alternatives to pit latrines in challenging environments.

The GiveLove team trained local carpenters to build the toilets and recent graduates have been hired as compost managers. This program is not only addressing the pressing problem of sanitation in the community, it is creating jobs. The training that GiveLove has done is excellent and they’ve incorporated education that is compatible with aspects of the Kenya curriculum including the environment, climate change, agriculture and sanitation. Since Wamunyu is a community of subsistence farmers, we believe that the compost will also help improve crop yields while diminishing the amount of harmful bacteria flowing into water sources.

GiveLove’s March team included founder and award-winning actress, Patricia Arquette, and a film crew. This team traveled to our project site and others in Kenya and Uganda to create training and promotional films.   Kenya Connect partner teachers, village leaders and staff were part of this project to share information about composting toilets.

In April, local carpenters have been building the toilets and compost bins and we are preparing to install 25-30 toilets in the homes and a bank of toilets at two of our partner schools.

This pilot program is being generously supported by a grant award of $8,672 by the Gupta Family Foundation. We will keep you updated on the progress of this program as we provide this low-cost and elegant sanitation solution!