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Economy

Firm in drive for better sanitation with green toilets

 Eco Loo Africa chairman Imad Agi explains features of an Eco-Loo toilet during the launch of the product Serena Hotel in Nairobi, August 20, 2013. SALATON NJAU
Eco Loo Africa chairman Imad Agi explains features of an Eco-Loo toilet during the launch of the product Serena Hotel in Nairobi, August 20, 2013. SALATON NJAU  

A Swedish company has launched a range of green toilets in Kenya in a bid to increase access to sanitation facilities.

EcoLoo AB, Sweden, which operates a local subsidiary EcoLoo Africa has introduced standalone odour free toilets that reduce the mass of waste deposited, converting it to liquid fertiliser for use in farms.

The innovation by EcoLoo Swedish founder Imad Agi makes it possible to reduce environmental pollution and limit water wastage contrary to normal water cistern toilets available in homes and institutions.

The EcoLoo has two compartments for urine and stool which enables separation, and easier management of solid waste. A pack of bacteria is poured into the loo once a month to aid in conversion of the waste. Urine is then is turned into Ammonium Phosphate (Urea), a highly concentrated liquid fertiliser while the stool is converted to ash.

The liquid fertiliser collects in a jerrican and can be picked every two weeks for use depending on the frequency of use. The ash on the other hand can be left for up to 20 years with no damage. The by-product is bacteria and odour free.

“What we are doing is transforming something considered bad to one which is economically viable,” said Mr Owen Olende, general manger Ecoloo Africa.

The EcoLoo uses one litre of water for flushing. The unit also has provision for solar fittings like solar lighting and fan.

UN-Habitat estimates that over 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have inadequate access to sanitation (2000).

“In Kenya, approximately 19 million people lack access to sufficient sanitation, a cause for a host of bacterial diseases and infections. That’s an alarming statistic and signals the need for something to be done!

That’s why Ecoloo Africa is set to transform the health and sanitation landscape in Kenya and the rest of the continent. By making use of sustainable materials,” added Mr Agi.

The EcoLoo cost ranges from Sh85, 000 ($1, 000) to hundreds of thousands depending on the design. The loo can be fitted in public institutions as well as homes.  The unit can also be joined with a shelter or kiosk.

“The good thing with our toilet is that it requires no digging and requires no maintenance,” said Mr Agi. The company will donate a couple of toilets to local public schools for piloting. However, the toilets are already on sale. EcoLoo plans to roll out the product to other African countries.

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