The first Mifuko Trust project took place in 2013 in Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi. Steve Kine, a professional jewellery smith, who has made aluminium jewellery and other items for Mifuko, was about to lose his workspace, a container. His landlord wanted to sell it. With a donation from Mifuko Trust, Steve was able to buy the container outright helping him secure his business, free from the pressures of paying rent.
Mifuko Trust bought a hand-operated tile-pressing machine that forms tiles from local soil and a small amount of cement (less than 5% of the tile). The pressed tiles do not need to be fired before use, so in addition to not requiring electricity, the machine reduces the strain on the environment caused by burning.
The machine is installed in the village of Kikima where Mifuko maintains its stock of raw materials for the artisans. A trained operator is available to make the tiles for local communities. The first tiles were used for our WASH and Grow! initiative, but can be used for many types of constructions.
Although the artisans usually work from home, every week they get together to meet up and work in the beautiful outdoors of Kenya. Together with architect Vilma Autio, Mifuko Trust designed a shelter made of ecological and locally sourced materials that has a dry toilet and a system for collecting rainwater. The dry toilet was designed by Huussi Ry (Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland).
The collection of rainwater and the promotion of sanitary development through the use of a dry toilet have benefited the whole community. The project was a valuable source of knowhow for local builders and strengthened the community by providing a common meeting place. This pilot project was designed to be easily replicated in other communities as it does not require expensive tools. The first shelter and dry toilet were built during the spring of 2017 and in 2020 a second dry toilet was built. Through discussions and research in communities it was evaluated that especially dry toilets are very beneficial for the communities. This work provided the baseline for the WASH and Grow! project.
Learn more about our Mifuko Trust's work
Our ecological sanitation project promoting health, food security and entrepreneurship.