Kibera slum project
Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, is one of the largest informal settlements in Africa. Here, Peepoos have been sold, used and collected since 2010 by the local implementing partner Peepoople Kenya.
In Kibera, Peepoo is sold by female micro-entrepreneurs and in kiosks. Peepoo is used as a home toilet. The community members can take their own used Peepoos to the drop-point, benefitting from the refund. But they can also make use of a service that some micro-entrepreneurs are offering; they come around every morning to collect their neighbours used Peepoos, utilising the refund as payment for their business. A much appreciated service that both stimulates the local economy as well as the usage of Peepoo. From the drop-points, used Peepoos are transported daily to a storage area and then used as fertiliser by farmers around Mount Kenya.
In a holistic sense, systems developed around Peepoo that also consider health aspects and the capability to empower women, help define the entire life cycle of the product.
“Our whole family shares the same potty. Before we began using Peepoo, if one of us got diarrhoea, the rest would also get infected. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
Dorothy Makau, Soweto Village, Kibera, Kenya
In Kibera, the local NGO Peepoople Kenya, is responsible for organising the distribution of Peepoos. Sales are conducted through different local channels, of which, women micro-entrepreneurs or cooperatives are most important. These enterprises are modelled as “micro-franchises”, with pan-franchise functions delivered by Peepoople, such as quality assurance, training, branding, marketing and advertising.
Women who benefit the most from using Peepoo themselves are ideal salespeople and distributors. Women sell to women, and in a majority of cases, women are responsible for family, children and health issues. Studies from Nairobi also show that a high percentage of women is engaged in urban farming.
The women selected to sell Peepoos are given training on the product as well as on how to start, run and grow a small business. Training modules include: Peepoo toilet, hygiene and health promotion, business training, basic bookkeeping and know-how on home gardening with used Peepoos.
Landlords constitute another Peepoo customer group. In many slums, residents live informally but pay rent to landlords who own the housing structures. In many instances, the structures are located in plots that consist of 10 to 50 houses together around a courtyard.
Because the local government is responsible for providing sanitation, water and waste management, Peepoo can play a political role in the community. The local government can distribute, collect or subsidise Peepoo.
Collection of Used Peepoos
If the used Peepoos are not utilised directly in home gardens, they are collected and managed by the Peepoo collection system.
Used Peepoos are brought by customers to drop-points in their local community or immediate neighbourhood, which are staffed by service operators. The drop-points, open daily, are centrally located to minimise the walking distance for users and eliminate waiting time. All drop-points are also situated so each can be reached by motorised vehicles for emptying.
At the drop-point, a refund is paid for each used Peepoo that is delivered. In Kibera the value of the refund is approximately one third of the Peepoo purchase price. Simple hand washing equipment is also offered free of charge at each drop-point. The Peepoos are collected in woven polypropylene flexible containers, commonly also named as Big bags. The bags are kept in place by a simple movable rack.
From these drop-points, used Peepoos are transported daily to a temporary storage area where the used Peepoos are safely kept for four to six weeks until they are fully sanitised and can be used as fertiliser – without the risk of contamination. To make sure the sanitising process is not interrupted, regular control of the internal temperature of the stored bags is performed. When fully sanitised, used Peepoos are brought to nearby farms to be used as fertiliser.