Mifuko Trust’s first government-funded project WASH and Grow! was launched in the beginning of 2021. The project is a three-year undertaking to build ecological dry toilets and provide training in hygiene, sanitation and entrepreneurship for the communities of Makueni, south-east Kenya.
The WASH and Grow! project (2021-2023) builds ecological dry toilets and trains women and communities about hygiene and entrepreneurship in rural south-east Kenya. The project promotes the rights of communities to clean water, sanitation and livelihood with a special focus on girls and women.
The work is carried out in cooperation with 26 local women’s self-help groups. Each group chooses a sanitation ambassador. The ambassadors and group members are trained in the benefits of sanitation, the usage of ecological fertilizer, soap-making and menstrual hygiene.
An ecological dry toilet is constructed at the home of each ambassador, and it serves as an example toilet for the community. The construction costs are shared between the project and the ambassadors. The price of the dry toilets is almost equivalent to pit latrines commonly used in the area, making them reasonably affordable for local communities. The ambassadors and construction workers get training in entrepreneurship, for example soap selling, and construction of dry toilets.
Access to clean water and to sanitation is one of the UN’s sustainable development goals. Especially in the area of sanitation, there are challenges to overcome in Africa. In Makueni and rural Kenya, for example, 90 % of households use pit latrines, one of the main causes for diarrhoea and other hygiene related illnesses. Pit latrines are usually located further away from living areas. The journey exposes girls and women to risk of sexual violence.
Ecological sanitation entails proper disposal of human waste and recycling of human excreta to produce composted fertilizer for small-scale farming. Dry toilets can be located near households and do not use fresh water, a precious commodity in the arid regions of Kenya.
Ecological sanitation tackles the root causes of poverty by:
▪ preventing hygiene-related illnesses,
▪ producing cheap, ecological fertilizer, and
▪ creating business opportunities.
WASH and Grow! reaches through 800 women through 26 women’s self-help groups and 4 to 5 constructors. The project benefits also the women's family members raising the total number of people benefitting of the projects to approximately 4,000 people. Through communications campaign and cooperation with the health officials the project reaches altogether 87,000 people living in the area.
The project is implemented together with the Mifuko Women’s Development CBO, a non-governmental organisation founded in March 2021 consisting of 24 women’s self-help groups from the local area. Other partners are Mifuko Oy which has operated commercially in Kenya since 2009, the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, and Ukumbi, a nonprofit specialised on sustainable architecture. The WASH and Grow! project also cooperates closely with the local administration in Kenya.
Learn more about our Mifuko Trust's work.