About this project
MAT is a social business that improves existing overflowing pit latrines in the urban slums of Kenya by reconstructing/renovating and retrofitting them with containers and water level sensors to detect an overflow. In places where there is no latrine but space is available MAT constructs a new latrine. The waste is then safely transported and disposed at a designated disposal site.
Urban slums tend to have similar characteristics not only in Kenya but in Sub-Saharan Africa. The sanitation situation is the similar such that, they either use pit latrines (improved or unimproved) or practise open defaecation. In Kenya, 56% (6.4 million people) of urban residents live in slums without access to not only sanitation but other basic services.
MAT began operations in November 2019 and has focused on improving the sanitation situation in a Korogocho slum located in the capital city, Nairobi. In this slum, there are approximately 200,000 people without access to clean sanitation facilities. Where the sanitation facilities exist, there is only one pit latrine for every 30 people resulting in overflowing pits and when desludging time comes, pit emptying workers without any protective equipment, manually scoop the faecal matter, dripping it all over the immediate environment and finally dumping into the nearby Nairobi River. It is estimated that approximately 140, 000 litres of faecal sludge is dumped into Nairobi river every day from this slum. The lack of improved and adequate sanitation has resulted in the burden of water borne diseases such as diarrhea that are prevalent in this slum especially in children.
The sanitation problem is not only in the community but also in schools. Schools in Korogocho slum face similar challenges of inadequate sanitation facilities yet this is a place where children spend 8-10 hours, 5 days/week. On average there are 100-500 children per school sharing one latrine block divided into male and female. Most often, the latrines overflow just like the ones in the community thus exposing children to health hazards. The lack of or inadequate sanitation facilities is most challenging to female adolescent students. They often miss school during their menstrual period due to lack of privacy to change their pads and eventually, some of them drop out of school.
In response to these sanitation challenges, MAT has renovated and/or reconstructed 5 latrines within the community in Korogocho slums and these are currently benefiting 80 people. This has resulted in safe removal and disposal of up to 40,000 litres of faecal sludge until now. This is the amount of faecal sludge that would have otherwise been dumped into Nairobi river and the surrounding environment with devasting consequences.
In light of COVID-19 pandemic, MAT aims at prioritizing the promotion of hygiene awareness campaigns starting with school children. The children would in turn take the practise back home to their parents and guardians and hence a sustainable hygiene practises within the community. Additionally, MAT aims at increasing the number of latrines in schools and/or improving the existing ones. To this end MAT has received funding from Toilets For All to implement the solution in one of the schools in Korogocho slum and will commence as as soon as schools reopen post Covid. However, many other schools need intervention as well.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of the project is to promote hygiene awareness and handwashing practises among school children and increase access to sanitation facilities. The specific objectives include;
· To construct a pit latrine for approximately 100-200 school children
· To install 2 handwashing stations with soap and water
· To conduct training on hygiene and handwashing practises for the school children
Approximately 150 school children in Korogocho slums have access to clean, safe and improved sanitation including handwashing facilities and are trained on hygiene practises, specifically handwashing.
· Environmental pollution resulting from unhygienic handling and disposal of faecal sludge is reduced resulting in clean and safe environment for school children
Sustainable Development Goals
About me / organisation
(1) Joyce Klu (2) Emmanuel Klu (3) James Hastie (4) Irene Akoth Owuor
1) Joyce Klu is the Founder & CEO of MAT. She a sanitation expert and is responsible for the technical design of MAT system, raising capital and building partnerships
2) Emmanuel Klu is the co-founder & operations manager. He is a HR and Admin expert. He is responsible for Finance & administration and overseeing the overall day to day operations
3) James Hastie is a co-founder. He is an Information Technology expert and is responsible for supervising programming of sensors, digital media and any IT related matters
4) Irene Akoth Owuor is an employee/volunteer. She is a Community development specialist and is responsible for community mobilisation and field operations.