Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company (Nawasco) has embarked on a project that turns waste into affordable and sustainable energy.The company is making briquettes — a block of compressed charcoal or coal dust used as fuel — from human waste.Nawassco taps the waste from the sewerage system, which accounts for only 27 per cent of Nakuru’s sludge.The project is helping to reduce pollution related to dirty fuels such as petrol and conventional charcoal.
Before the briquettes find their way into Nakuru’s poor households, they undergo processes to ensure they are free from harmful pathogens that could cause diseases, and are safe to use.Human waste - the main raw material for the briquettes - is collected from pit latrines and septic tanks around Nakuru by truck and transported to a waste water treatment plant run by the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company (NAWASSCO), where the manufacturing takes place.If more water companies team up with social enterprises and other businesses, as well as the government and development groups, on the activity, “it may generate income for jobless youths in the country while providing clean and affordable sources of fuel for large populations.
Most (peri) urban low income areas (LIAs) of Nakuru County are poorly planned and sanitation infrastructure is inadequate. The access to improved sanitation facilities is low, with 46% for Nakuru Town and 53% for Nakuru County (Maji Data, 2012). Out of the existing toilets, 51% are unimproved pit latrines. Due to the sandy soils in Nakuru town, pit latrines contaminate ground water through faecal sludge and urine that percolate to the ground water table.