Entrepreneur David Mairura champions hygienic sanitation in Mukuru
“Pathways in Kayaba were littered with flying toilets. I often walked with my nose high in the air to minimize the smell,” says David Mairura, who has lived in Mukuru for 13 years. “I trained my body to adapt to my work schedule as it was the only place I could access toilets,” he adds. Frustrated by the lack of toilets in Kayaba, David decided to look for a better alternative. He found a rental house in Mukuru Kwa Reuben that had pit latrines. “Even though they were not in good condition, I raised my family there,” he says, adding that he did not want his wife and children to lack access to toilets.
To safeguard their children from hygiene-related illnesses, David and his wife often volunteered to clean the toilet facilities. “However, during the rainy season, the toilets were so clogged that it was impossible to keep them clean,” he says.
Therefore, David was relieved when two Fresh Life Toilets opened near his home in 2012. “While our plot had pit latrines, my family often used the neighboring Fresh Life facilities; they were beautiful, clean, and odorless.”
The lack of hygienic toilet facilities in the majority of Mukuru’s residential plots has motivated David to become a strong advocate for ensuring access to – and use of – hygienic sanitation facilities. As a satisfied user of Fresh Life Toilets, he works to encourage landlords to provide FLTs to their tenants. He even installed one for his customers at BlueMoon Restaurant and Pub, and he’s planning to install Fresh Life Toilets in his rental units, as well.
In 2013 when he was launching his Bluemoon Pub and Restaurant, he approached Fresh Life to install a toilet for his customers. “I chose to have the Fresh Life Toilet because of its small footprint and the regular waste collection service that comes with the facility,” says David.
“Providing a Fresh Life Toilet was a big boost for my business because it differentiated my pub from those in the neighborhood without toilets, making it easier for me to attract and retain customers,” he beams.
During the three years David has been a part of Fresh Life, he has helped improve hygiene practices in his area. “I allowed my neighbors to use the pub’s Fresh Life Toilet while encouraging nearby plot owners to install them for their tenants,” he says. To date, he has helped recruit over ten Fresh Life Operators into the network, and the majority of his neighbors now have access to Fresh Life Toilets in their plots.
Operating a Fresh Life Toilet, David has learned a lot about what it takes to run a successful business. He frequently offers advice to other entrepreneurs: “Without a plan to reach your goals, it is impossible to achieve success.” He elaborates, “I always had a vision for success; implementing and mastering simple skills such as accurate bookkeeping have helped my business ventures thrive,” he says.
The ambitious businessman is currently working with Fresh Life to install two additional Fresh Life Toilets in the twenty rental units he owns in Mukuru Kwa Reuben. “My businesses help me ensure that my three children get a good education and are well provided for,” he says, adding that good sanitation is a key part of securing their futures.