iko-toilet thinking beyond a toilet (community and school sanitation)

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iko-toilet thinking beyond a toilet (community and school sanitation)

Project Summary
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Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Thinking beyond a toilet- offers diverse focus on Architecture, Behaviour change, Cleanliness and Disposal technologies (ABCD- of sanitation)giving forth new package for sustainability

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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Public information alone doesn’t change behaviors

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Increase accountability through design for the long-term

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

the traditional focus on sanitation has rendered its growth almost stagnant, this has not been solved through intensive engineering principles due to complex nature of sanitation.

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Thinking beyond a toilet- offers diverse focus on Architecture, Behaviour change, Cleanliness and Disposal technologies (ABCD- of sanitation)giving forth new package for sustainability

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

Most of sanitation development has failed in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa. This is due to the strong cultural ties on sanitation.The ABCD offers a wide range of innovative features, appropriate architecture offers the public image that attracts users into built space, identifying with it and being part of the whole, this is complemented by adds-ons services of shoe shine, newspaper vendors, soft drink to creat a -Toilet Mall- concept.Improved managment through franchise mechanism ensures locals are involved in operations and accrued benefits and also enhances hygiene levels; Human waste utilisation is a valued addition due to benefits of biogas from digesters, urea from harvested urine and compsot from the sludge.My organisation is also engaging municipal and schools on a new partnership arrangement of Build Operate Transfer (BOT)into sanitation infrastructure, management and operations for a period of five years- through this period the programme will develop through incubation of franchises to ensure a new knowledge on sanitation management is in place for now and the future.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

I have signed contracts with local authorities(10 now) for the initial 100 units;I have engaged ten main corporates in Kenya for the sponsorships of these units for branding for the period;I have engaged a local university to develop a week-long module for capacity development of the franchise (youth and women)four per facility. Im developing this model for expansion in slums and public schools in Kenya, strengthening the values of improved sanitation through focusing on utilities and value additions.

How do you plan to expand your innovation?

My strategy is to scale up in the entire country giving special focus to the urban slums, schools and refugee camps. Nearly all slums and public schools have no adequate sanitation and this has been captured by the national steering group for the International Year of Sanitation. The demand is excessful in almost all our urban centres in Kenya, the slums in major towns and almost 10,000 targeted public schools. The idea is to support corporate to support or adopt several facilities and advertise or brand- then the franchise will charge the users to earn their incomes.The adds-on enterprises will strengthen the local ownership strategy and ensure quality level of maintenance. I have presented this model to the government and there is emerging interest to adopt it for urban and schools in Kenya. As a poverty reduction strategy, id o hope to link up with more global corporates like cocacola, unilever etc, equity financing from local and international banks and the governments.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?

Partnerships are at different levels; I have signed with local authorities who are providing appropriate space for the infrastructure; I have presented and finalsing with local corporates for financial support; Im finalising contracts with Acumen Fund and Care Enterprise Canada for equity finacing and awaiting African Development Bank approval. Am partnering locally with UNICEF and WSP-WB who have appointed me in the national steering committee for international Year of Sanitation.
Am looking at scaling up to the global giant corporates, foundations and equity financing bodies and linkages with Ashoka fellows in Africa to ensure beyond the borders reach.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

Ikotoilet is and will continues its mission-saving lives and uplifting peoples dignity and income through sustainable innovations on sanitation interventions in slums and schools

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

The main barriers in scaling up is finacing- with approrpiate PASSION and understanding of this field, I do look forward to when corpoarte adopt a Clean Consiousness for CSR. Governments need to enact appropritate policy frameworks to ensure budgetary allocation for sanitation to ensure and strengthen sustainability and especcially in schools.

How many people have you served or plan to serve?

The Pilot is serving a total of 600-800 people per day. Im looking forward to putting up in high density areas of slums, urban and schools with a target of atleast 1000 persons per day for urban slums and between 800-2000 pupils per school. In Nairobi im targeting to put up 50 facilities in slums thus about 40,000 persons daily and 20 schools (40,000 students) and 20 in urban markets and bus stages (20,000 persons).


There will be direct users, atleast 1000 persons per facility per day.
1000-2000 pupils per school,
Use of biogas in schools will benefit all the pupils in school.


the immediate environment and the thousands in dense slums and schools will ultimately benefit from improved sanitation.
Savings in disease costs and biomass consumption will be a major environmental boost. Use of urine and compost will improve soil performance hence increased food production.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation?

Its estimated that in every 1 $ spent on sanitation you save 9$. In schools there will be improved retainment of children especially the girl child, reduced costs of illnesses and missing lessons and health and dignity of OUR people.

Is there a policy intervention element to your innovation, if so please describe?

Im finalising with the government inclusion of IKOTOILET design as the basic approved design for public schools in Kenya. This will be come real if am able to convince through the initial models the health/ dignity implications and benefits, before its rolled out to all schools.

Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

Sanitation touches on basic livelihoods of all citizens, but its more felt to the urban and rural poor who have no access and ends spending a large fraction of their income on health related issues arising from lack of sanitation. The other key category is the school children especially in public schools.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

three levels;
Government financing especially the municipal councils and schools.
Corporate support through what am calling a clean consciousness for private sector;
Im applying grants from global foundations, ADB etc and also equity financing

Provide information on your finances and organization:

2007 Annual Budget was 45,000 US$,I founded Ecotact last year- the pilot under grant has been on experiment and have helped finalise a business plan for bulk financing. Most of activities will be this year 2008 targeting atleas 1,000 facilities @ 20,000US$ each totaling to US$ 20M, this money i need to source from all potential sources, to achieve my goals.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

The demand is real in Africa with the growing slums and population in schools. more than 10,000 public schools in Kenya have no adequate sanitation facilities.
I have a core team of 4 experts full time and 3 graduate volunteers- all facilities will be run and maintained by local youth and women franchises

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

From the pilot case, the facilities are supposed to be self sustainable except the case of school sanitation since you cannot charge pupils for use. This requires constant budgetary support from the government or consistent corporate support through adoption.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

Am an Architect, now a sanitation designer. Started work with the City Planning Authority in Nairobi and steered a stakeholders committee to adress the growing concerns of slums in Nairobi with a population going to almost 2 Million people in a city of 3.5 people. After that I joined an international agency (ITDG) in chergae of environmental sanitation in the region, where I satreted several innovations on solid waste managmengt and sanitation for 8 years. Having worked with government and civil society- they failed the Passion test of touching on numbers, With IKOtoilet and with the architectural background and social passion to make a difference, i believe for us to address the challenges of sanitation we need to think past the toilet into useful utilities that should complement sustainability of the sanitation unit.I have seen and evaluated many failed attempt in slum improvements in the Eastern Africa region, which I attribute with lack of focus and concentration on sanitation and the thoughts of putting up shoddy works as a toilet as a by the way. I believe a toilet should be a family focus, a starting point of modernity and dignity; self worth and hygiene. This way we can build a sustainable community, with valuable contribution to the society and the environment.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

David Kuria is the Chief Executive officer of Ecotact Limited, an environmental development company incorporated in Kenya. He is an ASHOKA 2007 award and fellow on sanitation innovation for the public. He has been a senior specialist on sanitation with Practical Action (ITDG-EA) for seven years, one of the leading development NGO on environmental sanitation. David has been involved in the last five years on developing innovative practices on waste and sanitation within the region (both processes and technologies).He is currently giving technical support in collaboration with UNDP- Kenya, to the Ministry of Local Government on developing Urban Policy on Waste Management in Kenya.
Kuria Holds a Degree in Architecture (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology) and currently undertaking Master of Arts in Environmental Management and Planning (University of Nairobi).
He is a member of the global scientific committee for the forthcoming International Conference on Sustainable Cities and Villages (25-31st August 2007), in Dongsheng, China.
He is a Board Member for a global network on Sustainable Sanitation and Waste Management Programme (2007-2011) supported by DGIS- Netherlands and representing the southern and Eastern Africa region.
He is Silver member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)
Currently a Co-Chair of Sanitation and Waste Technologies Working (Min of Health and UNICEF).
He is the current editor of WASTE DIGEST- a regional newsletter on current treads and