In order to increase our knowledge of informal areas, we participated in a project in the large slum of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Here more than 100.000 people live close together without sewerage and proper toilet conditions, which results in serious health issues. One local solution is the so-called bio centers; de-central and energy-producing sanitary buildings that increase hygiene and health locally.
A bio center is a building that provides a small informal neighborhood with toilets and showers, with an underground tank that produces clean and flammable gas from the toilet waste. The gas is used for cooking at the adjacent Mashimoni School that cooks daily for around 200 pupils. Besides the sanitary functions, the building also includes rooms for education and local activities. The Biocenter was built by the Danish NGO Sustainable Energy in cooperation with local partners. AWB designed the building, which was detailed and prepared for construction by a local partner.
The building has unfortunately since been demolished to allow for more space for an expansion of the local railroad.
- A cleaner and safer environment in and around the school, with fewer diseases caused by pollution from human waste in the streets.
- That the school reduces its spending and dependency on charcoal for fuel as it can be replaced with biogas.
- That by replacing charcoal with biogas, that the school avoids contributing to deforestation and saves money.
- That the bio centre, through its size and visual qualities become a local beacon for sustainability and environmental awareness.
Read more about the project (in Danish only) on Vedvarende Energi’s website under Børnenes Ulandskalender 2009.