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Type Conference Paper - A Paper Presented at the Annual International Conference on the Engineer and Vision 2030
Title Ecological Sanitation Approaches in Kenya
Country/State Nairobi
Kenya has a large rural and rapidly growing peri-urban population that lacks sustainable solutions to safe and adequate water supply, energy and sanitation. Access to safe water and sanitation was 57% and 84% respectively by 2006 with 80% of the rural population and 44.6% of the urban population relying on firewood and kerosene respectively as the major source of energy. Kenya is also regarded as a water scarce country with a per capita supply of renewable water of 647 m3/year. The challenges posed by lack of access to safe water and sanitation and reliable and efficient energy supplies erodes the country’s capacity to embrace economic gains necessary to usher in vision 2030 while undermining its capacity to attain the millennium development goals. Ecological Sanitation Approach is being muted as a sustainable way of recycling, reusing and reclaiming natural resources through a concept that turns waste into utility resources and consequently taking advantage of what is currently considered as problem sources and converting them into useful inputs. The EU-GTZ funded EcoSan Promotion Project in Kenya is piloting initiatives in six pilot sites to showcase the potential of using human and kitchen waste in addressing the challenges of environmental degradation witnessed across the country marked with incidences of ground and surface water pollution with attendant seasonal outbreaks of water related diseases and diminishing access to safe water supplies. The initiative targets public, institutional, individual and agro-based establishments provides an intervention whose philosophy revolves around protection of the environment, restoration of the food chain and ensures that the law of conservation of matter and energy is promulgated to turn engineering solutions from the conventional linear systems to cyclic systems that run tandem to nature for sustainability. The philosophy utilizes such age old techniques like the bio-latrines, dehydrated toilets and constructed wetlands to reclaim recycle and reuse waste water and human excreta through a bio-process that provides energy for cooking and soil enrichment and water for irrigation and other non potable uses. Simple systems that provide 2-3 hours of cooking gas in quantities of 300-liters per day to complex systems that can provide up to 45,000 litres of methane gas per day are under test in Kenya and are proving to be reliable sources of energy, non-potable water and bio-fertilizer for rural and peri-urban households, public places and agro based industries. The initiative aims to reach 50,000 beneficiaries in the next 20 months and gears at laying the foundation for a paradigm shift from the conventional unsustainable linear systems to modular cyclic systems required to attain the millennium development goals jumpstart the economic and social reorientation towards fulfilment of Vision 2030.

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