Archive for ‘Sanitation’

July 16, 2014

Understanding Solid Waste Data

Data Presentation by Isaac Muasa from Spatial Collective Ltd

Data Presentation by Isaac Muasa from Spatial Collective Ltd


One of the most common feature in Mathare is the large amount of uncollected garbage in the community. Spatial Collective Ltd, has been gathering data on solid waste management with assistance of the community and groups engaged in handling of solid waste.

Collection of data related to solid waste in urban areas especially in the informal settlement can be a complex affair. Garbage collection is big and territorial business in the informal settlements with some groups enjoying near monopoly in their zones.
Groups engaged in this business are both registered and unregistered while we have people handling garbage collection as a private business.

Spatial Collective Ltd, has been collecting data on solid waste from both residents and groups engaged in management of solid waste. Spatial Collective Ltd has managed to gather for the first time comprehensive data on solid waste management in Mathare Constituency. Change is the management of solid waste can be realized if the community, stakeholders and the Nairobi County government understand the situation.

Spatial Collective Ltd has started a series of forums to share the data with the groups, community and other stakeholders. Today (16/72014) was the first such meeting and 37 groups from Mathare participated in the forum. Currently 43 groups from Mathare Constituency are involved.
A platform to spearhead a clean community, “MTAA SAFI” been started, which will involves a multi-social media approach.

One can be part of the campaign by subscribing WhatsApp: +254 707482472; Facebook.com/Mtaasafi: http://www.mtaasafi.com. – Simon

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May 31, 2011

A problem of open defecation areas and flying toilets in Mathare

Joshua mapping a toilet

In the last two months we have been actively involved in mapping water and sanitation, open defecation areas and open drainages in Mathare number 10, Thayu, Mabatini, Mashimoni and later in the rest of Mathare. During this process I was surprised to see people shitting in an open ground, not worrying about people watching them.

Children in Mathare lack playing grounds and recreational facilities. This is because a lot of free space is being used by open defecation areas therefore forcing the children to play near roads which often leads to accidents.

I was touched by what I saw during mapping process. Because of it I started my own investigation. I wanted to find out why people still perform open defecation instead of using the toilets, which were built, at a very high cost, by the NGO’s and the government through community development fund (CDF).

Here are my findings:

  • Maintenance Cost: For the use of a toilet in Mathare 10 one needs to pay five or three shillings daily or a monthly fee. If one doesn’t or can’t pay he/she must look for other alternatives – like using open defecation areas or flying toilets which are scattered allover Mathare.
  • Poor housing facilities: Most houses in Mathare 10, Mabatini, Mashimoni and Thayu lack toilets inside, forcing people to use flying toilets or open defecation areas
  • Poverty
  • Lack of awareness to proper hygiene and sanitation

Nowadays toilets are being constructed allover in Mathare. The area leaders have put out a request to the government and NGO’s involved in construction of new toilets, to train community members on importance of clean sanitation and hygiene.

– Javin

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