We’re Growing: Fresh Life Kayaba!

Celebrating the opening of our first Fresh Life Toilet in Kayaba.
Ribbon cutting ceremony for our first Fresh Life Toilet in Kayaba.

Nairobi is slowly returning to normal after the terrible Westgate attacks two weeks ago. In our corner of Nairobi, the Sanergy team took an important step this week when we expanded into a new informal settlement – Kayaba. This is our first expansion into slums outside of the Kwa Ruben, Kwa Njenga, Gikomba, and Viwandani areas, where we have launched 263 Fresh Life Toilets through a network of 135 amazing entrepreneurs. We chose Kayaba for two main reasons:

First, there’s massive demand for hygienic sanitation. Based on our field research, there are only a handful of viable sanitation options for a population that is in excess of 100,000 people.

Second, it’s next door to where we already work. Replication of the model isn’t easy, no matter where you do it. We’ve built up a great team of over 100 staff, who each know the ins-and-outs of their specific roles and of Sanergy as an organization. Transferring that knowledge to the neighboring community is as efficient as possible.

We are hiring locally from Kayaba, too. Our new Fresh Life Frontline team members are from Kayaba. They know all the shortcuts on sunny days and best passable routes on the muddy days. They also know key members of the community whose endorsement of our work is central to our success. And they are big believers in our work. At our monthly All Hands Meeting last week, new teammate Frederick Mwivali stood up among our whole team and explained, “I joined Sanergy to play my part in cleaning the environment and to make sure that the surrounding is livable and healthier for all.”

Our first Fresh Life Operator is Joan Alaya and she has opened her toilets at the Good Faith Educational Complex Center in the heart of Kayaba. When asked why she joined the Fresh Life family, Joan said, “The Fresh Life Toilet is friendly toward the environment, affordable compared to other toilets, and there’s no smell or flies.” Joan also mentioned that the waste from her previous toilets was dumped into the nearby river and she feels good that no longer happens. The Fresh Life Toilets will serve students during the day and fee-paying residents at dawn and dusk.

Thanks to a partnership with the Dutch Embassy and GOAL, we will be able to launch 200 Fresh Life toilets in Kayaba in the coming 18 months. We’re extremely excited for this expansion and with “Good Faith,” look forward to a very bright future!

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