A group of Bio-center operators posing for a photo after discussions with a team of journalists from 16 African countries in a media workshop on sanitation held in Kenya, August 2018.
An organized group of people in Nairobi earns a hundreds of dollars monthly from offering sanitation services that contribute in building a healthy society in an environmental friendly situation aside of doing business.
Gorogocho is one of slums in Kenya, located in Nairobi, the capital city of the country. John Okelo, the boss of Gorogocho Bio-center said that more than 1500 people benefit from their facility per day as clients, and they can earn around FRW510,000 (around USD600), a month.
“People staying around are very few, but those who are using this place because it is a marketplace are so many, we are getting about 1500 people per day, it is a huge number,” he said.
John Okelo explaining achievements and challenges
Okelo said the number exceeds on Wednesday and Saturday because it is Gorogocho market day. From that huge number, they can collect more than RFW125,000 (around USD150) per day.
Service delivered are bath services that cost Ksh 10 (USD 0,1), cooking by biogas that cost Ksh 10 (USD 0,1), boiling water for Ksh 5 (USD 0,05) and accessing a toilet that costs Ksh 5 per person.
The Bio-Center operators offer sanitation services
“This Bio-center has improved our lives, we have developed, initially this area used to be very dirty, but now is clean and we are very proud,” said a member of the group.
The affordability of facilities and mindsets of people are still main challenges to the business.
Such milti-beneficial facilities contribute a lot in making an Open defecation free World as has been reminded by Daniel Aghan, the Managing Director on Mesha, a non-government science journalism organization based in Kenya.
Mr. Daniel Aghan speaking in the Workshop organized by the Centre for Science and Environment in partnership with MESHA in Nairobi, Kenya (August 2018
H.E Moses Okhoba Mulomi, Deputy Governor of Busia County, said Kenya is implementing a number of strategies to make it an Open Defecation Free.
“Sanitation marketers and trained community members making the interlocking bricks and selling to the clients for construction of improved sanitation systems.” he said.
Susmita Sengupta working for the Centre for Science and Environment based in India, said water treatment, as base of sanitation practices, should be subsidized as their cost is high.
“We can take the waste of some in our cities connect it to underground pipes, transport it to treatment plants, even treat the waste and discharge clean water to rivers,” she said.
Susmita speaking to journalists in the workshop
In the East African Community member states, figures of the World Bank, 2015 shows that the percentage of people practicing open defecation was 12.03% in Kenya, 2.12% in Rwanda, 11.26% in Tanzania, 3.13% in Burundi, 6.2% in Uganda and 60.89% in South Sudan.