Your daily poo is now being used to make cooking charcoal.
The initiative by the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company (NAWASSCO) is aimed at conserving the environment and saving energy.
By converting solid human waste into a source of fuel, the company prides itself as having improved sanitation in Nakuru and Naivasha towns.
Ministry of Water Chief Administrative Secretary Winnie Guchu said this is the best way to conserve Kenya’s forests.
She lauded the water firm for the innovation saying many jobless youths will be employed.
Guchu said the challenge of sewage management is not only in City Slums but also in apartments.
Speaking to Hot News, Lydia Macharia said her life has changed since she started using the Charcoal Briquettes from human waste.
“I use only 15 balls to cook my meal for 2 hours. It’s efficient. 2kgs can cook over five meals,” she said.
She said that she got to know of the briquettes after her friend, a Personal Assistant to Winnie Guchu brought her 2kgs.
She added that she used three quarters of the balls and the results were good.
“I am yet to use the briquettes inside the kitchen and find out whether indeed the balls will produce any smell. Some think they could smell,” said Lydia.
She said that she only noticed minimal smell from her medium sized Jiko while using the briquettes.
“I am encouraging the youths to make use of the opportunities created by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to join in the process of collection of human waste as a method of environmental conservation, “she said.
1kg of charcoal goes for shs 120 whereas the human waste briquettes go for shs 60.
According to NAWASSCO, human waste is collected from pit latrines and septic tanks in Nakuru.
The waste is then taken to a processing plant, where it is dried for two to three weeks in drying beds in a greenhouse.
The hot temperatures in the greenhouse take out around 70 per cent of moisture from the sludge, which prepares it for carbonation.
The dried waste is then heated in a kiln at temperatures of about 700 to 800 degrees Celsius, which burns off harmful gases (and the smell).
It’s ground up finely, before being mixed with sawdust that has also been carbonized.
Molasses is also added at this stage to bind the materials, and then formed into little balls.
The combined materials of milled sawdust and sludge are fed into a rotating drum machine, while molasses (a binding agent) is added gradually until the mixture forms a ball of about 2.5 cm in diameter.