The Beginning of The End for Hanging Toilets – A Fresh Life Conversion
In the heart of the Mukuru-Kayaba slum, there is an enterprising and vibrant business area simply referred to as ‘commercial’. The narrow streets in this area are full of traders selling everything from food to household goods. It is down one of these narrow streets that one can find ‘the hanging toilets of Kayaba’. These are toilets built precariously close to a stream known as “Kanaru” which joins into the larger Ngong River.
In an area with very few toilets, these hanging toilets were the only sanitation option in the area. Each of the toilets is connected to a pipe that drains the waste directly into the river. The stream is contaminated with that waste: “We provided our customers with water which they used to direct the waste down the pipe that drains directly to the river. We know that this is not good, but it is the only way we could manage the waste,” says Job Moruri, who managed the block of pay –per-use toilets in the past.
But now, Job and his brother Samson have recently become Fresh Life Operators. Job smiles as he talks about the newly acquired Fresh Life Toilets which his customers refer to as ‘digital toilets’. “Our customers love the cleanliness of the Fresh Life Toilets, and the fact that they don’t smell at all.”
The area chief, unhappy with the state of sanitation in the area, introduced Samson Onchiri to the Fresh Life business. Sanergy installed three Fresh Life Toilets, and each now attracts over 60 customers per day! The charges to use the Fresh Life Toilets are the same as that of the block toilets but with much better customer experience.
As part of the Fresh Life package, the waste is safely collected every day by the Fresh Life Frontline team, which means that waste is no longer being diverted into the stream. Job opens his Fresh Life Toilets every day from 8am to 9pm as most of his customers are those living in nearby residential areas without toilets. “The Fresh Life Toilets are really changing our area for the better, I hope one day all this waste in this river will be cleaned up.”
Having noticed that none of their customers want to use the remaining block toilets, Job and his brother plan to replace them with Fresh Life Toilets very soon. Job chuckles, “No one wants to use these other toilets anymore; everyone wants to go digital!” Indeed, we believe that giving customers what they want close to where they live will – sooner rather than later – eliminate unhygienic options in Mukuru once and for all.