A Sanergistic Team, Sehemu Mbili (Part Two)

It has been a grueling few weeks. We have been busy fabricating, installing, and finishing our precast ferrocement toilets at our pilot sites in Kibera and Lunga Lunga. We’ve been able to complete the two sites in large part thanks to the help of our Nairobi-based team members.

Originally from the Kisumu area, Tom Odoyo is entering his final year of the mechanical engineering program at the University of Nairobi. We met Tom at the FabLab set up by MIT in partnership with the University of Nairobi. As a jack of all trades, he has extensive experience in digital fabrication.  Ella and Tom and spent long hours at the lab milling parts of our prototype on the CNC machine. His interest in renewable energy – including ongoing work building a wind turbine and a flexible biodigester – blended well with Sanergy’s goals. Needless to say, his contribution to the group has been invaluable.


Lucas Wesonge is entering his final year at the University of Nairobi. For the past four years, he has been studying civil engineering with a focus on infrastructure. Lucas is interested in working in a rapidly developing country like Sudan, and the speed of construction with ferrocement piqued his interest. Ultimately, Lucas decided to intern with Sanergy to get hands-on experience with new techniques and to apply these techniques to benefit local communities. Throughout our work in the communities of Kibera, Lunga Lunga, and the industrial area, his outgoing, jovial personality remained quite infectious.
Upon graduating in November with a degree in water engineering from the Kenya Water Institute, Pius Ondoi intends to use his “skills and knowledge in the community, at the primary level, to help eradicate poverty.” We’re certainly glad that he has already begun working toward that career aspiration even before graduating! Not only did Pius’s interest in wastewater treatment fit well with Sanergy’s focus on human waste management and processing, but also his previous internship experience constructing classrooms, water tanks, and pit latrines with Concern Worldwide in Kisumu, his own hometown, has been extremely useful as we built out our two pilot sites.
Born and raised in Nairobi, Ken Owade has long been a community organizer and leader here. Following his run for public office representing Kibera in the 2007 elections, Ken co-founded the Smart Club CBO where he continues to work on issues of civic education, peace, and democracy. His extensive involvement in the Kibera community and his experience mobilizing the youth was exactly what we need in our partnerships with the youth groups in Lunga Lunga and Kibera to operate the pilot centers. As the Field Manager, Ken will continue to run the daily operations for the Sanergy pilot over the next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *