In August I went to Naivasha in Kenya to test five MoSan prototypes with families from the peri-urban and informal settlement Karagita. Before I started a cooperation with the American start-up Sanivation. For 4 weeks we tested a closed-loop sanitation service including MoSan toilets, Sanivation solar treatment and feces recycling to energy briquettes.
It was an amazing month! Emily Woods and Hana Lokey from Sanivation are great partners! In a very limited timeframe we were able to set up a comprehensive service, starting at household level with the MoSan toilet; including schoolings for users; a collection service by motorcycle, done by a very motivated local; set up of a treatment site with Sanivation solar concentrators and we started a cooperation with a local briquette workshop run by disabled people from the community.
Within these 4 weeks, we got a deep understanding of peoples behaviors, fears and hopes and learned a lot about our service.
One thing that surprised me most, was the motivation and the commitment of inhabitants in Karagita. People were so motivated to work with us, to support us, to learn from us and in return to share their knowledge with us. We met many people who are active volunteers in the community, attend self-help groups or started a communal bank between neighbors to help each other in difficult times. To work with such dedicated people made our month so successful and gratifying.
In my last week in Kenya we organized a focus group discussion to bring everyone together and share their experiences with each other. We heard stories about the benefits of using a private toilet at home, that people with limited mobility were able to enjoy going to the toilet, that children stopped open defecation, that women felt more secure at night and that people started eating and drinking after 5 pm.. It was very inspiring for us to hear all this feedback and of course also suggestions for improvements to our service and products.
I am very happy to share our full report and learnings with you.
It made me so happy, that a simple solution like a toilet can change so much! It motivates to further improve the concept to become a viable solution for many people in low-income countries!