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…”
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.
Lack of toilet facilities at the right time in the right place contributes to dirty water and farms that are unsanitary, unpleasant and can spread infection. Farmers will fall sick and they will not be able to work and meet their obligations.
Understandably, BDBA was designed not only to be open but also to be attractive to businesses.
Family businesses have connections with their local area going back generations – BDBA project is an opportunity for them to increase their level of the connection.
National and International chains, on the other hand, often have a strong social or community support ethos as part of their corporate policy, providing free or subsidised goods and services – and sometimes funding too – for local initiatives. They operate as part of communities and hold as much of a stake in supporting local projects and promoting civic pride as the locals themselves.
If BDBA project is not the kind that can lift our dignity, it cannot attract businesses.
The foregoing aside, why should BDBA project be similar to CBO projects?
The filters will be cased in either concrete or plastic shafts.
Rainwater from the drained area is fed into the inlet (marker 1), which is at the lower end of the shaft. A deflector plate sets up a radial flow.
At place marked 2, sedimentation of particles, especially the sand faction and above, takes place in the hydrodynamic separator. This is due to turbulent secondary flows within a radial laminar flow regime.
The settlable solids are collected at point marked 3 via an opening in the silt trap chamber. This chamber is evacuated periodically, via the by-pass central tube at intervals.
Four filter elements are located within the filter shaft (part marked 4). As waters flow upwards the finer particles are filtered out, whilst the dissolved pollutants are precipitated and absorbed. The filter is easily backwashed, and if completely clogged or exhausted, is easily replaced (often once per year).
At point marked 5, is clean water above the filter elements passing to discharge via an oil trap assembly. In the event of major spill, free floating oils etc are retained here. Normal concentrations of dissolved oils are retained within the filter elements.
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.