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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).

Public toilets that are poorly located generate a sense of neglect, attracting vandalism, anti-social behaviour and social disorder. And lack of available and appropriate facilities at the right time encourages fouling, and treating diseases associated with open defecation such as typhoid, dysentery or cholera is a significant and costly task.

These issues, if not tackled effectively, can generate a cycle of decline, leading to more entrenched social problems, and seriously impairing quality of place and quality of life for local people.

Others have seen this reality before. HIGHWAY ACT 1980 Part VII Provision of Special Facilities for Highways states that “…112 Provision of picnic sites and public conveniences for users of trunk roads (1) The Minister may provide on land adjoining, or in the vicinity of, a trunk road that is not a special road a picnic site for motorists and others likely to use the road with space for parking vehicles and a means of access to and from a highway. An area of any such land as aforesaid in which there are, or are to be, provided such a picnic site, parking space and means of access as aforesaid is in this Act referred to as a “trunk road picnic area “.

“(2) The Minister may erect buildings and execute works on a trunk road picnic area for the purpose of providing all or any of the following:— (a) parking places for vehicles, (b) a means of access to or from the area from or to a highway, (c) public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories), and…”

“…(5) The Minister may provide public sanitary conveniences (including lavatories) in proper and convenient situations on or under land forming part of a trunk road that is not a special road, or adjoining, or in the vicinity of, such a road and may manage such conveniences…”

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.

USA based, Building Tomorrow, Inc., joins with RaHa in bringing toilets in Kyassonko Primary School and water in St. Timothy Bunyere Primary school.

Olivia Schneider, Program Associate of Building Tomorrow has just written to RaHa confirming there support.

As of May 2018, Building Tomorrow has opened 62 fully operational schools in Uganda, providing enough learning space for over 20,000 students and counting. Through their Thriving Schools Program, they have enrolled over 24,000 formerly out-of-school children back in school.

Altogether, through both their Building Tomorrow Primary Schools and Thriving Schools Program, Building Tomorrow serves over 101,000 students each and every day.

They continue to push towards completing their Educate51k plan as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, a five year, $12 million plan to provide a safe, local, permanent, quality and supportive learning environment for an additional 50,980 children across Uganda. And everyday they work to achieve their vision of a world where every child has access to an inclusive, quality education.

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.

This Madaraka Day, we were invited to renovate toilets that have been used for only 6 years. 6 years is a very short period of time for toilets to require renovation. Something must have been done wrongly.

To avoid making the same mistake, we ask: what happened, especially to the walls and floors?

A lack of good toilets affects not only the quality of our schools, it also reduces the dignity and quality of our lives. After all, they are one of the basic facilities that we depend on. Good quality provision instils confidence in public facilities as a whole, helps to inspire positive impressions, and contributes to many other important aspects of life.

It is important that children have the confidence that the facilities they need are available when they are in school – children rightly expect accessible, clean, safe and well maintained toilets.

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.

Recall that CS Samuel Keter nominated roads in Kerich County for toilets.

Recall also that we contacted roads authorities regarding the nomination.

We are happy to announce that Kenya Roads Board called us to say that they were sending us a ‘positive’ letter in response to our email.

Based on the call from Kenya Roads Board, we started negotiations with a dealer in containers regarding design of the toilets (see photo above). Containers because they are secure and fast –– we believe that the toilets should have been on the roads before the roads were opened for use therefore, Sani Solar toilets in shipping containers will ensure the needed efficient logistics and fast implementation.

RaHa joins Fight Inequality Alliance (FIA) because they #FightInequality. FIA is a global coalition which has organized a number of activities, including the global Fight Inequality Week of Action, to focus global attention on the scourge of inequality at regional, national, and local levels.

We #FightInequality whenever we #MakeWinners out of the water starved and the toilet-less –– we make winners because  winners keep winning; an idea formally known as cumulative advantage, or the Matthew effect; which explains how those who start with an advantage relative to others can retain that advantage over long periods of time.

YES: global economic inequality is staggering and shaming –– the number of billionaires rose by the biggest amount ever in 2017, half the world’s population lives on between $2 and $10 a day. The 2018 World Inequality Report shows the share of wealth held by the top 1% of earners in the US doubled from 10% to 20% between 1980 and 2016, while the bottom 50% fell from 20% to 13% in the same period.

BUT: think about the story you tell yourself about yourself. In all the lives you could be living, in all of the worlds you could simulate, how much did luck play a role in this one? Have you gotten more than your fair share? Have you had to deal with more struggles than most? Nick Maggiulli asks this question because accepting luck as a primary determinant in your life is one of the most freeing ways to view the world. Why? Because when you realise the magnitude of happenstance and serendipity in your life, you can stop judging yourself on your outcomes and start focusing on your efforts.

Your EFFORT is the only thing you can control. So don’t let good luck put you on a pedestal, #FightInequality without spending – #makerainsafe for you, promote rainwater harvesting  and promote rainwater protection. This will #MakeWinners.

Don’t let bad luck knock you down either—some of us are born with more advantages than others and some of us are born with less, but you should never let that define how hard you try — #FightInequality without spending. Start accumulating advantages, bottle rainwater for income, farm, car-wash… Win by having a reliable clean close toilet and water.

Listen to Kofi Annan, “…From the boardrooms of Wall Street to the streets of Athens, there is a growing consensus that the current economic model is not fit for purpose. We are far from agreement though on what should replace it. What is absolutely crucial is that the voices of the people most affected by inequality must be heard in the debates that follow”… (the emphasis is ours) …”This is why The Elders, a group of independent leaders founded by Nelson Mandela of which I have the honor to be the chair, is working with civil-society activists from the Fight Inequality Alliance to promote an inclusive, just, and bold agenda….”

For another day is the question, who is MOST affected by the inequality – the ‘winners’ are clearly most affected (they feel increasingly insecure) the same way the ‘losers’ are.