Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ikotoilets and Public Health in East Africa

A new breed of social entrepreneurship is sweeping the East African coast. Ecotact - a Kenyan private market-based organization working towards improving sustainable environmental sanitation - announced The Ikotoilet project at the Clinton Global Initiative this week.

The Ikotoilet project focuses on providing:

- Low-flush toilets in both the ladies and gents toilets
- Waterless urinals in gent’s toilets
- Shower facilities
- Water saving taps and soap dispensers
- Dry toilet system - a facility for urine harvesting and water conservation
- A free-of-charge toilet for the disabled
- Tanks for rain water harvesting.
- A changing area for babies
- Sanitary bins
- Full length mirror
- Music
- Snack shop
- Shoe shine vendor

(Source: About Ikotoilet webpage)

In doing so, the Ikotoilet initiative is trying to positively transform the public approach to maintaining a healthy living, while creating jobs and investing in social entrepreneurship activities. The project will begin implementation in Kenya and Zanzibar, and is set to scale up into greater Tanzania and Uganda in coming months in partnership with entrepreneurial youth.

The Ikotoilet project is based on Kenyan entrepreneur David Kuria's ideas for increasing the urban poor's access to high quality sanitation, a basic but important need in East Africa, while still involving them in a self-improvement process.

Read more:
SOAworld Magazine article
David Kuria's idea on Ashoka's website
Ecotact website
Clinton Global Initiative website

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