Tag Archives: Kibera

Kenya: Human waste woes in slums

Kenya: Human waste woes in slums

NAIROBI/KISUMU, 27 December 2012 (IRIN) – The odour of human waste is unbearable at the pit latrine behind Nancy Anyango’s house in Manyatta, a sprawling slum in the western Kenya city of Kisumu. Nearby, a heap of rotting garbage lies between long rows of shacks. From a distance, one can hear the flies buzzing.

Photo: Dara Lipton/The Advocacy Project - A stream in the Kibera slum is used as a dump site for trash and human waste

Photo: Dara Lipton/The Advocacy Project -
A stream in the Kibera slum is used as a dump site for trash and human waste

The open pits exacerbate the threat of disease. They are also a physical risk for children. Only a couple of months ago, Anyango lost her three-year-old son when he fell into one of them while playing with other kids.

“The waste produces a pungent smell, and when it rains, it floods our houses, and we are forced to move out. The lives of our children, too, are in danger because they play inside the filth,” Anyango told IRIN.

Risks to residents

Local government authorities put the slum’s population at 45,000, but they are served by no more than 30 pit latrines. And because people are charged a fee to use the latrines, many opt defecate in the open instead.

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Kenya, Kibera: “slum survivor” Patrick Mburu still emptying pit latrines to keep his kid in school

Pit latrine emptying in Kibera. Photo: KWAHO

Four years after news agency IRIN released its award-winning documentary film “Slum Survivors”, its makers returned to the Kenyan slum of Kibera to see what had happened to the main characters.

One of the most striking sequences of the film showed Patrick Mburu emptying pit latrine toilets in the dead of night. He did not much care for the job but the money was good and as he put it at the time, “I’ll carry as much shit as it takes to keep my kid in school.”

Four years later Patrick is still emptying toilets and his kid is still in school – and doing quite well by all accounts.

See below the section of “Slum Survivors” that follows Patrick at work at night emptying shared latrines [segment starts at 1.50].

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Africa still stuck with its flying toilets

Although Kenya and other eastern African countries committed themselves to increased financing for sanitation at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002, the issue has not been prioritised in national budgets since then.

NAIROBI (IPS) – In 1925, Mahatma Gandhi remarked that “Sanitation is more important than political independence.

More than 80 years later, access to basic sanitation remains out of reach for 546 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.

In East Africa, not one country is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal Seven, which aims to reduce by half the number of people without access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation by 2015.

Despite governments in the region being signatories to several declarations on improving sanitation, many East African households still lack access to flush toilets or pit latrines.

Open defecation is widespread, and `flying toilets`, where people defecate in plastic bags and throw them away at night are the rule rather than the exception in many informal settlements.

“This is the way we live. We do not have toilets, and no place to safely dispose of our waste,“ said Nicholas Ambeyo. “Because of this, and the lack of sufficient water, and the open sewers that run through our houses, we are at a risk of contracting diseases.”

Ambeyo spoke to IPS in his home in Kibera. With a population estimated to be close to a million people, Kibera is one of Africa`s largest slums. It is approximately seven kilometres from Nairobi city centre.

Read More – IPP Media

Flying toilets; throwing away the problem

What is a flying toilet? Any ideas? A modern design in aeroplanes? A portable toilet at concerts? Unfortunately, it’s nothing as mundane. A flying toilet is the name given to a plastic bag filled with excreta that is flung away after use. It’s causing big problems in some of the poorest areas in the world – the slums of Africa.

Imagine the scene – you’re at home enjoying an evening meal. Your family is sitting outside talking and eating. Then suddenly a plastic bag lands in the middle of the group. That’s exactly what’s happening in the Kibera slum in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

More – Radio Netherlands

Kenya: Kibera’s Bio-Latrine

By Francis Ayieko, Nairobi

(…) Mary is a beneficiary of a new technology referred to as bio-latrine technology, which uses human waste and water to produce gas for lighting and domestic cooking – just like the biogas system. The gas is harvested from modern latrines that have been constructed in the slums with funding from the French government.

(…) DURING A RECENT official opening of one of the ablution blocks in Soweto-Kianda village in Kibera, Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga hailed the project, saying it would bring to an end the shame of using “flying toilets” – disposing of human waste by wrapping it in polythene paper bags and throwing it away. (…)

Read all allafrica.com

The East African (Nairobi)