“We are great collaborators with NEMA on our new toilets” – FLO Steve Muithya’s environmental conservation
Steve Muithya and his friend Adika are entrepreneurs who have been in the toilet business for a long time. In 2011, they established two sets of pit latrines to serve the people of Gikomba Market with toilet services.
Their business thrived for about a year, until the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), due to sanitation issues cited by the authority, earmarked the pit latrines — which were situated a few yards from the Nairobi River — for demolition.
Steve and Adika were devastated; the business was a source of revenue for them. Their families depended on the income stream to sustain their livelihood. “I had worked hard to earn this piece of land only to be told my business was going down,” says Steve. At the time, he was absolutely distraught.
As promised, NEMA demolished their toilets and planted some trees in the area as an environmental conservation measure. Unsure what to do next, Steve and Adika began exploring new options. In the course of his research, Adika came across a bold, blue Fresh Life Toilet set up in Gikomba Market. He enquired about the business and was directed to the Fresh Life offices. Determined to establish their toilet business again, Steve and Adika visited the Fresh Life team. After their initial meeting, they were certain they had found the ultimate solution for getting their business back on track.
Today, thanks to Kiva and the Fresh Life team, they are the proud owners of four Fresh Life Toilets, which have been doing well since their establishment a year ago. “We are great collaborators with NEMA on our new toilets. They applaud us for contributing toward ensuring the Nairobi River is less polluted today,” Steve says.
The entrepreneurial duo has managed to restore the confidence of their previous users and have even doubled their customer base. They now serve up to 300 customers per day!
Adika is glad that they invested in the Fresh Life Toilet because their new toilets have proven to be a hit within the busy market. The users keep complimenting him on the Fresh Life Toilet’s lack of smell and hygienic waste collection solution.
“I am able to give my wife and son the comforts they desire: a good home and good education,” adds Steve. He is in the process of buying a piece of land and building a house for his family.
Steve and his business partner operate in weekly shifts. Together they have also established a water-vending business and a small shop for their customers. They are now hoping to establish another two Fresh Life Toilets to serve the Gikomba Market, which is currently expanding. We applaud Steve and Adika for being savvy Fresh Life Operators who contribute toward cleaner communities.
World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5 to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth.