Young people invent an award-winning eco-toilet

Farmer John Ochieng, 77, adds Saniwise manure to a field in his farm in Kisumu
© UNICEF Kenya/2023/Paul Kidero

It’s a hot and humid morning on John Ochieng’s farm on the outskirts of Kisumu town, near a small lagoon. John is a bright and healthy 77-year-old who strides through the fields in bare feet, some of his toenails missing after decades of labour. He enjoys practicing his English. “How are you coping with the atmospheric pressure this morning?” he asks UNICEF, with a twinkle in his eyes.

John collects a bag of manure from young entrepreneurs Chelsea and Steven of Saniwise Technologies. Their company has designed an eco-friendly toilet and sells manure and chicken feed produced as a by-product. John draws some water from a borehole and leads the UNICEF team to a nearby field where he is growing spinach, aubergines, tomatoes and lettuce. He carefully packs some of the manure around a small lettuce in the centre of a hole in the field, then moves onto the next one.

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