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Solution by: Umande Trust

Bio-Centers Provide Safe Sanitation for Slum Dwellers  Nairobi, Kenya: In the slum of Kibera, bio-centers established by Umande Trust provide safe sanitation and offer a venue for social gathering. ENVIRONMENTAL Biogas protects the environment and conserves forests by replacing conventional fuels like kerosene or wood. THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

SOCIAL Safe and private sanitation improves quality of life by reducing water-borne illnesses and protecting the dignity of users.

ECONOMIC Through the cashless payment systems, the bio-centers have boosted their profitability by over 60%, according to an internal study.

By building bio-centers in Nairobi’s largest slum, Kibera, the Umande Trust makes safe sanitation accessible and provides people with much-needed biogas and fertilizer. The 20 bio-centers in Kibera are multi-story facilities where an underground digester makes up the foundation of each centre. Human waste from ground floor toilets goes through anaerobic digestion and produces biogas and fertilizer that are sold back to residents for use or piped to nearby schools and hotels. A portion of the biogas also powers on-site kitchen and shower facilities, which are available to the community. Some bio-centers also function as social venues where the community can screen movies or football matches, all of which is paid for via an easy-to-use cashless system that enhances money safety. WHY A SUSTAINIA100 SOLUTION? Approximately 2.6 billion people in the developing world lack access to basic sanitation, which is a precondition for improving living conditions and the environment.1 In Nairobi 95% of sewage is discharged to the environment without treatment, adversely, affecting the lives of nearby residents. 2 By offering safe sanitation facilities in Kibera, dwellers daily lives and health is improved together with the environment.

“We see bio-centers as models to improve the environment, governance, and basic urban services.”

Payments for the use of sanitation facilities or purchase of biogas are accepted via a cashless system at the bio-centers.




1 2


WTO. “Water Sanitation and Health.” Online: Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya. “Implementation Plan for Sanitation.” Inplementation Plan. 2009.




Sustainia100 2015  
Sustainia100 2015  

Get inspired by real solutions! The Sustainia100 study 2015 features 100 new stories from the forefront of sustainability innovation. Deploy...