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This is a novel invention made from natural products papyrus reeds and water hyacinth. Has a mini biogas digester for production of biogas.



Sanitation problem plagues most of the poor people in developing countries open defecation and poorly maintained pit latrines that leads to the spread of diarrhea related diseases like typhoid that results to approximately 2.4 million deaths annually (WHO 2015). The pahyacintho mobile toilet is a novel project made from natural project and has a mini biogas digester that produces biogas that is used for cooking and lighting. Furthermore a high quality manure is produced. It is affordable, effective, efficient and durable. It is a great solution to the problems facing the poor people. Through community health campaigns such radio stations and advertisements, we intend to reach out to 1000 people in the first year of operation. This will require 2500 toilets costing $ 430, 920 and therefore requiring donor funding. This will be donated to the poor people and the revenue earned from the sale of manure at a cost of $15 per tonne. It is estimated that 8 million people in the Kenyan slums generate 4 million tons of human waste annually.

The toilet is going to solve the problem of lack of sanitation facilities. Lack of access to sanitation costs the world $ 260 billion per year.  Globally, about 2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation and 1 billion practice open defecation. Poor sanitation costs Kenya $324 million per year. About 5.6 million people has no latrine at all and defecates in the open. Each person practicing open defecation spends about 2.5 days per year finding a private location to defecate leading to a large economic loss (world Bank report, 2015).  The innovation is a change in the toilet industry as the biogas will be used for cooking and lighting whereas the manure produced can be used for farming. The project guarantees reduced water consumption as it has a funnel-like-toilet bowl that is directly connected to the slurry barrel below it. Beneficial to the poor people who can't afford high costs of electricity, water and cooking fuel hence sustainable. 

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

The market opportunity was recognized through community based health campaign forums where it was realized that poor people lack effective and efficient sanitation facilities. Therefore they were in dire need of an affordable and improved toilet that would not require sewerage system and those found in the middle and high income residential places.  

The project reduces environmental pollution such as contamination of water sources, and water pollution caused by bad odor from the unsafely disposed human excreta. Through the use of the biogas digester, the human excreta are converted into valuable manure that can be used for farming hence improving soil fertility and food production.

The pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels, wood and charcoal for cooking and lighting is reduced since the biogas produced is used instead.It also helps to conserve the environment through the use of recycled plastics to make the toilet's frame.

The widespread of water hyacinth on the water bodies such as lakes and rivers has led to poor fishing and water transport activities. Therefore harvesting the water hyacinth for the production and formation of mobile toilets will help in the clearance on the water surfaces. Also those involved in the harvesting of water hyacinth will be empowered economically. Further, the plants parts that are not used are decomposed into manure and later sold.

As stated earlier, unhygienic sanitation amongst the poor people especially in the developing countries leads to diarrhea which is a major killer of them all especially in children. Each year there is approximately 4 billion cases of diarrhea world wide (WHO 2014). In Kenya there are over 3 million people who lack toilet facility. This has led to the rampant rise of open defecation that has resulted to water and food contamination thereby causing serious health problems to the people. The project therefore aims at providing 2500 toilets to about 100000 people annually.i.e. for every 10000 households a toilet will be provided. With this small number of people using the toilet, its state of hygiene will highly be maintained. 

Considerably, open defecation has social costs such as loss of dignity and privacy and risk of physical attack and sexual attack. Therefore through its use their quality of life will be improved hence a healthy lifestyle and productivity. Also by use of the biogas for cooking and lighting,they will be able to save their income for other basic needs such paying for their children school fees, buying food and clothing.

Unemployment to the large number of youths will be hired to manage the sale of the biogas digester manure and in return will earn them a humble income. Therefore for every $ 1 invested in it, an average of $7 is returned in increased productivity of the people due to an increased sanitation and a healthy society. This will also help them in overcoming the high expenditure on medical services during outbreaks of diseases. The toilet will eventually promote a healthy, hygienic and better living standards to future generations.   


Who will take these actions?

There is prospects of partnership deals such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and county governments in future as more done to increase awareness to the public, donors and investors. A patent has been acquired to protect it from competitors. they are donated so as to accomplish the project's main goal of reaching out to people most of whom are poor and improve their sanitation standards. 

As the project pioneers and owners, we have established a number of young men around L. Victoria who help us in the harvesting of water hyacinth, papyrus reeds and the weaving skill in assembling the mobile facility. Since the project is still in its initial stage of development and the state of product creation is a prototype which has been used to conduct a successful pilot study in Nyalenda slums in Kisumu County. We are currently working on the legal status before the real launch of the project on the ground and establishing operations in large scale productions. The assumption behind the financial projections are: the prospect of acquiring a financial support from donors, investors and the International Finance Corporation (I.F.C)   since we only able to afford the cost of prototype. We anticipate that from the cost of manure, adequate surplus of revenue will be earned to sustain the future operations of the project and production of more toilets, hence donating more toilets to the people.  

Martin Odhiambo is the project's director and manager an MBA student at Daystar University; Victor Enzoveri is the assistant manager and head of operations also a student at Daystar University. The project's technical officer include: Eng. B.K Kariuki; a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Advisor is Prof Peter Ngure lecturer Daystar University and a researcher.    

Where will these actions be taken?

Our operations and implementation phase will be best suited in the densely populated slums in the three cities namely: Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa with a view to expand progressively in the future. The project will be rolled out in phases and therefore the first year of operation upon launch will be to reach out to a population of one hundred thousand people in divisions of 10000 households.



In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.


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What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

It is predicted that water is the main channel through which climate change impacts will be felt by people, ecosystems and economies (Bates et al, 2008). Both observation records and climate projections provide strong evidence that freshwater resources are vulnerable, with the potential to be strongly impacted.While there is a high level of confidence in the scientific community about the geophysical processes that link emissions to warming, much less is known about how warming will manifest itself at the local level through changes in rainfall, runoff, groundwater recharge and climate extremes (Conway, 2011; Taylor et al, 2013). Some of this information can be obtained by downscaling GCMs, but resolution remains coarse and levels of uncertainty are high, particularly for rainfall. As a result, the usefulness of climate models for adaptation decisions has been questioned (Stainforth et al, 2007). Therefore Increasing intensity of rainfall, such that even in those areas where average rainfall is expected to fall (e.g. southern Africa), a greater proportion of rainfall is likely to fall in heavy rainfall events; Increased risk of flooding, leading to both infrastructure damage and contamination of surface and groundwater supplies. In rural areas for example, floods can damage or inundate springs, wells, rainwater harvesting systems and boreholes, though boreholes are typically less vulnerable. This can hamper both access to water and cause contamination and health risks. Piped systems are also vulnerable because of their size and complexity, and their exposure to multiple threats from source, through treatment to delivery. The pit latrines widely used in rural areas as well as urban areas e.g. slums are vulnerable to flooding and can cause serious environmental contamination, although adapted designs are available and latrines can be upgraded. Long term decline in rainfall in the country could threaten viability of water-borne sanitation system and the capacity of surface water to dilute, attenuate and remove pollution. This is due to the rapid rural urban growth population. 

What are other key benefits?

In order to stay in a healthy environment the national government has to care for its citizens from being exposed to environmental hazards. To implement the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development ; many countries are aligning their national policies and institutions behind the Goals to improve people’s lives. Businesses are taking action to invest in new technologies, opening up new markets, and building the sustainable and inclusive economy of the 21st century. Civil society organizations and other stakeholders are also using the Goals to drive change at the local, sub-national or county and national levels and holding their Governments accountable. Even though progress is being made, gaps are evident. The world remains on a trajectory of increasing inequality, and it is facing armed conflicts, humanitarian and environmental crises, as well as economic, financial and climate challenges. Moreover, the scale and pace of change in public and private investment in sustainable development remain alarmingly insufficient. Urgency is therefore needed to surge in financing, investments and technological innovation. This project upon implementation help ease outbreak of diarrhea related diseases hence having a healthy environment for its people.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

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Since the project is still in its initial stages, it might have a little impact to the society due to a lot of expectations and also the constrain of limited financial muscle that can enhance its installation. However, heavy investment or serious funding could see the project's success if adapted and can help solve the problem of sanitation in the long term. A lot of lobbing is required for the project's sustainability as well as awareness and sensitization to the public on the significance of the project.

About the author(s)

Martin Odhiambo Ayoo: the project director, manager and founder. A student at Daystar University, Kenya

Victor Enzoveri: the project's assistant manager and head of operations : A student at Daystar University, Kenya.

Prof. Peter Ngure: Advisor to our team.Has a PHD on parasitology and entomology, vast experience in health research especially communicable diseases that affect poor people. Has published 16 papers in peer reviewed journal and attracted over $500,000 in research grants. He is also lecturer at Daystar University. 

Director University Liaison office, lecturer department of mechanical engineering (JKUAT).

Dr. Jacqueline Kisato : Lecturer Kenyatta University and mentor in business innovation and incubation, a master trainer in business entrepreneurial  promotions (STEP)

Mrs Faith Mburu:  A lecturer at Daystar University. Advisor to the team on environmental impacts.



Related Proposals


Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, 2013.

World Health Organization, 2014 (Preventing diarrhea through better water, sanitation and hygiene: Exposures and impacts in low- and middle-income countries)