Lunga Lunga Toilet Summit
The day after touching back down in Nairobi, the team traveled to Lunga Lunga to check in on our pilot. The sanitation facility there is operated by the Lunga Lunga Youth Group and is located at a Bridge International Academy. We were greeted by the students and, in particular, a fourth grader named Alan, who excelled both in English and in being chief ambassador for the Sanergy toilet. Alan was quick to explain that he liked the Sanergy toilet because it was “clean, very clean.” On the other hand, Alan pointed out that some of the younger kids had trouble remembering how to use the toilet properly. He is wise beyond his years: Training people, young and old, in using the toilet, keeping the toilet clean, and disposing of the waste will be critical to our success.
We also met with the principal of the school, Patrick, who gave mostly glowing reviews. As Bridge International expands the size of the school, he was hopeful that we could implement another Sanergy toilet soon, as students and parents alike were enthusiastic about it. Classes go en masse to the toilets. They all line up to use the Sanergy toilet, when there are two other options, though the teacher forces the kids to use the less clean ones (for expediency!). Additionally, as a school marketing tactic, Patrick often shows it off to parents. He would give them the key and let them go inside. Parents come back and say it is “like a house.” These feelings of both cleanliness and a pleasant, private experience are both important to bear in mind as we scale.
Finally, we met with the members of the Lunga Lunga Youth Group to check in on their progress. They run a highly organized operation. Each member takes a turn in collecting the waste on a daily basis, and the waste was being successfully converted into biogas to be used for cooking at a local restaurant. Nicholas, the group’s leader, left us with a particularly inspiring story. His son had just finished top in his class and was now set to go to secondary school. Now Nicholas, out of respect for the hard work his son put in, needed to earn even more to send him to a good school. He hopes the Sanergy toilets are part of the recipe to his and his son’s success.