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Client: 
F4W
Project start: 
January-2015
Project end: 
December-2015
Staff: 
Jan Spit

Biogas Sanitation Systems for Schools in Kenya

WASTE is working with boarding schools in rural areas to develop and test a new biodigester which can realise a safe and affordable solution for human faeces disposal and production of clean biogas.

What we do

Together with SimGas, WASTE is working with 3 boarding schools in rural areas to develop and test a new biodigester which is able to realise a safe and affordable solution for human faeces disposal and production of clean biogas. For schools this will mean that the usage of the biodigester will save on toilet waste disposal costs and costs for fuel or wood in the school canteen.  

In Kenya, there are about 18,000 primary schools and 7,300 secondary schools and many of these are boarding schools. The project initially targets boarding schools in rural areas where hygiene and sanitation conditions are often poor, resulting in the spread of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera. The schools are dependent on fuels such as wood and charcoal for cooking which is often done on open fires or poorly functioning stoves causing health problems. The selected schools pay from € 850 to € 3,400 per year for (toilet) waste disposal. This money could instead be spent on improving education.

 

How we do it

        Setting up systems and finance

At each of the schools, an assessment of the local conditions and needs is done, based on which system is suitable for installation. The users and one person at the school taking responsibility of the systems will be trained. The systems will be regularly monitored and checked for necessary improvements. The schools are financing the systems themselves with a loan from K-Rep bank; this also allows SimGas to test and develop the requirements and financial aspects of the systems as a preparation for the upscaling phase.

 
        Upscaling

After testing and fine-tuning the biodigesters, a strategy on how to upscale the project will be developed. The objective is to realise standardized and mass-produced biogas sanitation systems with toilet connections for larger institutions that will be available for distribution through existing networks. This will result in high quality and affordable systems that have the potential for installation at initially 1,000 schools in Kenya. These 1,000 schools are already part of the distribution channels used within this project, K-Rep bank.

 

Impact

The project is a first step in providing millions of people in East Africa and beyond with an affordable and durable solution that provides safe sanitation, a modern and sustainable energy source and increased crop production. We will achieve

  • improved access to safe sanitation for schoolchildren in rural Kenya, reducing the spread of diseases in schools
  • a sanitation infrastructure at Kenyan schools which includes safe human waste treatment
  • a sanitation system based on existing mass-producible digester models
  • clean biogas replacing fuel such as wood and charcoal for cooking purposes, reducing cost and improving the indoor environment
  • an increased crop yield by applying safe and organic effluent instead of expensive chemical fertilizer

 

Sustainability

To ensure sustainability we will develop a business model which enables all stakeholder in the value chain to benefit from the sanitation system with no external funding required.