Coach House Geography

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Another great scheme for Kibera from Practical action

Posted by Lindy on October 6, 2011


An unusual power shower

More than 750,000 people live on Africa’s largest informal settlement Kibera, where it was not usual for more than 200 people to share a pit latrine, which often overflow and are emptied into a river where children play. The alternative was ‘flying toilets; people left with little choice but to use plastic or paper bags as toilets and then throw them out of the home.

Diseases such as typhoid and cholera thrive in these conditions and children are especially vulnerable. According to the United Nations, worldwide, a child dies every 15 seconds from these diseases.

One project which has proved incredibly popular is working with communities to build and run a shower and toilet block. The waste passes into a thick, concrete chamber, producing methane, which is connected to a water heating system for the showers.

The community runs this scheme and even employs a caretaker and cleaner. As well as employing people to keep the toilets clean and tidy, the toilets and showers have had another major effect on the community; the areas has become a hive of social activity. Throughout the day the steps are bustling with people as women and mothers meet while the steps give children somewhere to play.

Over the course of a week, more than 2,700 people visit the toilets (395 per day) and 290 people use the showers (41 per week).

http://practicalaction.org/power-from-waste

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