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We are happy to inform you that Kenya Urban Roads Authority responded positively, regarding building toilets on roads in Kericho County (see self explanatory twitter conversation above).

You are like-d by the village around Makindu Primary School. They want you to mark their rainwater harvesting tank as illustrated above, for free, see more details here. When you agree, they get water which they currently have little of. When you agree, you will also enable many more similar schools and villages to get water and toilets.

Regards,

RaHaSolutions

The extent to which people have easy access to good quality toilets affects their general health and well being – and that of the whole community. Enabling different people, with different needs, to make use of public toilets at different times can have a significant impact on issues like public health and exercise, public behaviour, use of public transport.

A lack of clean, accessible and safe toilets impacts on some people more than others. Some people may feel unable or reluctant to leave their homes and visit areas where they fear they will not be able to find a public toilet. Older people, mothers, fathers, and carers with young children, disabled people and people with chronic health problems – all need easy access to suitably equipped public toilet facilities.

We are thrilled to announce that we have today submitted to Billion Dollar Business Alliance (BDBA) our offer to build filters next to water ponds that BDBA are currently building in Kenya.

Our offer is based on fact that cleaning of water is not part of activities BDBA is doing. They are harvesting rainwater for agriculture and, apparently, they assumed that farmers would not use the water for domestic purposes. Our contribution to the BDBA project will enable beneficiaries of the ponds to use the water for drinking as well – for a large number of the beneficiaries, this will be their only water source.

We have also offered to build toilets in toilet-less homes and along roads that are within areas that drain water to the ponds. This will reduce pollution of water that will end up in the ponds. The SANI SOLAR toilets sun dry faeces and urine to form fertiliser that the farmers will need.

We sent our offer through BDBA’s Maimbo M. Malesu of World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). ICRAF, WFP and Government of Kenya are members of the BDBA.

Businesses respond to motivations. Businesses operate as part of communities and hold as much of a stake in supporting local community amenities and promoting civic pride as the locals themselves.

Family businesses and independents, for instance, may have connections with their local area going back generations. SANI SOLAR public toilets will make such businesses to remain connected with their local area.

Transport operators – like any commercial business – will only make the most of their commercial opportunities if there are public toilets that their passengers demand, many times quietly. 

International and national chains, on the other hand, often have a strong social or community support ethos as part of their corporate policy. Opportunities to provide free services and, sometimes, funding for local community initiatives motivates them – and public toilets provide the opportunity. 

Businesses operate to turn profit, and customer footfall is the lifeblood of retail and leisure sectors. Yet however alluring the window display, however good the sales pitch, people need first to feel drawn into the area. People respond to, and recognise, areas that show a strong brand image, a sense of civic pride, where it is obvious from the road furniture, local environment, and signage that people are welcomed, that their needs are understood and catered for. 

In other words, sense of destination – the extent to which a destination has met a visitor’s needs and made a strong and positive impression – is vital to secure repeat trade and sustainable economic development.

Public toilets as part of road furniture is therefore, important for local shops and businesses too.

Today, we received letter above from Kenya Roads Board (KRB). KRB’s executive director, Eng. Jacob Z. Ruwa, on behalf of the board, acknowledges that the building of solar toilets on the roads in Kericho County is noble and important.

Main reason for building the toilets on road reserves is safety of the public and maintenance staff. This mitigates against a range of actual and perceived safety risks to person and property that may be encountered at public toilets. These include anti-social behaviours such as vandalism, graffitiing, loitering, and drug abuse.

Building the toilets on road reserves is the only means of ensuring that entrances of the toilets face onto the most active space. This alone will reduce the likelihood of crime in set locations. While it is impossible to ‘design out’ crime, careful planning and detailing with crime in mind have been shown to reduce actual crime and unintended behaviours, and to improve public perception of personal safety.

 

Good public toilets are important therefore, we increase accessibility and quality of public toilets; and we ensure everyone is working together on this. That is why we publish about the toilets we provide and toilets in general.

We publicly review the causes of decline, set out a range of approaches that go beyond the traditional public toilets, and encourage partnerships between roads and local authorities, the private sector, and local people to devise solutions that are tailored to the needs of different people at different times of the day.

Our publicity accentuates the positive: there are some excellent examples of approaches to promoting public access to toilets, often involving the private sector, and engaging pro-actively with local communities to ensure that their needs and priorities are met.

Importantly, we hope to take taboo out of toilets, to stimulate discussion, to achieve better provision, and to promote a positive shift in attitudes and approaches to the whole issue of toilet provision and use.

Yesterday, Ben Phillips twitted “No one is coming in a cape, coming from outside, to save us. But together we can save ourselves.” “There is no justice, just us. That might sound sad at first but there is a huge power in “us”.”

When you nominate the water starved for water, toilet-less for toilets,… etc; others will promote rainwater harvesting and rainwater protection; and the your nominee gets water and or toilet. If you are an organization, your nominee gets water and toilets when you Makerainsafe for you.

Ben is Launch Director of the Fight Inequality Alliance. He was Campaigns and Policy Director for Oxfam and ActionAid International. He has lived and worked in four continents and 11 cities including New Delhi and Washington DC, as well as with children in poverty in East London. He has led programmes and campaigns teams in Save the Children, the Children’s Society, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the Global Campaign for Educationd.

He began his development work at the grassroots, as a teacher and ANC activist living in Mamelodi township, South Africa, in 1994, just after the end of apartheid.

He is based in Nairobi.

By Sandra Matata, AFS

Preparations for the toilets to be put up in Kericho are underway with the Kenya Roads Board promising to send us a ‘positive’ letter in response to our email. Raha Solutions has started negotiations with a dealer in containers, CONTECH, regarding design of the toilets (see above). We decided on containers because they are secure, fast, vaible and clean sanitation solution.

Alvin Rono, a bodaboda business person on the kericho-kapsoit route thinks the toilets will be of great help to the motorist community in Kericho and other motorists who use the route. They will no longer have to ease themselves in the thick bushes along the highway, he says. The toilets should have been on the road before the roads were opened for use, he agrees.

Sani Solar Toilets in shipping containers will ensure the needed efficient logistics and fast implementation.