SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN
In the urban slums of Kenya and East Africa in general, open defecation and flying toilet still is the prime method of human waste disposal. In Kenya, Diarrhoeal diseases cause 19% of U-5 mortality ( over 30,000 deaths/ year) almost eleven times more deaths each year than from HIV/AIDS ( MoH-2006);and this is recorded in poor urban neighbourhoods.
This has always been a source of challenge to planners, health and social services providers and development partners. To combat this problem, Ecotact launched the Ikotoilet initiative two years ago.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES
Ikotoilet is a partnership initiative with Municipal Government, through a BOT process. The site priorities have been identified through consultations with the councils and the users needs (markets, bus parks, urban parks and slums), a thorough planning process is undertaken and an advisory plan developed and approved and the site documentations released. Through this consultation, all permits are procured and the licensing required operating the facility.
FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
Ikotoilet aims at offer sustainable transformations of urban sanitation interventions in Kenya and beyond.This is through five core innovations a) developing a “toilet-mall” concept to optimize the value of sanitation and provide a sound revenue stream and thus helping in subsiding the sanitation aspects- this is through providing electronic money transfer services (MPesa), shine services, snacks services,saloon etc within the Ikotoilet; b) developing urban street monuments through providing a piece of urban art in architecture with citizen appears and cognizance; c) innovative sanitation marketing through partnerships with beauty Pageants, Top comedians and Musicians, Political establishment and the religious leaders; d)Strengthening waste recovery through urine harvesting and currently finalizing re-utilisation researches with local and international Universities’) Developing and tapping on broader collaborations with Governments, International agencies, Corporate, and networks.
MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
As part of Core innovations for Ikotoilet is the realization for the need to leverage resources,both Technical and financial from broader untraditional sources. This has included Patient Capital Loans from Acumen Fund (US); awards from Global agencies like Global Water Challenge (US) and Ashoka-Innovators for the Public;Governments agencies-Athi Water Services Board; Corporate social investments by EABL Foundation and Safaricom Foundation. For the scale up initiative Ikotoilet has developed a local youth franchise mechanism targeting the local urban youth for the management of the facilities. The management franchise is based on one year renewable after compliance with hygiene and customer relation framework of the company.
The major handles for the Innovation of the Ikotoilet started with the mandate. Provision of public conveniences is predominately a municipal affair, both investment and management, and thus the need for mind set and allow collaborations with the private sector without losing the mandate. This required a lot of negotiation and trust. To ensure the mandate remained firmly within the municipality arm,an MOU was developed and signed and also all signage within the facilities are for the municipality. There was also need to cross the cultural and relation barrier by the public on the perception of public toilets as dirty, unsecure places. This we did through heavily investing on innovative social marketing.
Entry to the slums in Nairobi,required more community and local leadership engagement to identify the facility locations, contracting the works and the overall management framework.Through consultation, we have supported registration of Community Self-Help groups of young people (gender mix) for the effective and long term sustainability.
We have developed different tools that enable us the capture key deliverables,as follows;
- Cash balance (monthly)
- Net Income (loss) (monthly)
- Total Revenues (monthly)
- Revenue from facility usage
- Revenues from monthly plan subscriptions
- Revenues from daily usage
- Revenue from Advertising
- Revenue from rental Space
- Other Revenues
- Operating expenses (monthly)
- Cost of goods sold
- Profit Margin
- Average construction cost per facility
- Number of active facilities
- Number of facilities under construction
- Number of municipalities with facilities operational
- Number of employees (monthly)
- New Contracts signed with municipalities
- Number of facilities contracted to be built
- Number of customers on monthly plan
- Lives impacted
- Average wage per employee at facility
- Number of indirect employees
- Number of customer visits (monthly)
- Number of toilet uses
- Number of child toilet uses
- Number of adult female toilet uses
- Number of adult male toilet uses
- Number of shower uses
- Number of child shower uses
- Number of adult female shower uses
- Number of adult male shower uses
The Ikotoilet Initiative has since recorded high level as success as captured by the several awards that we have received in the last 2 years. These include;
1. We have so far in two year constructed 40 Ikotoilets in 15 Municipalities and finalised constructs for phase two with 10 more municipalities including Tanzania and Uganda.
2. We are currently serving over 40,000 persons daily with safe water and sanitation across the country and hoping to double that by end of 2010.
3. We have created decent engagement of our youths in Kenya through employments and franchise frameworks.There is, so far, 160 youths employed in the Ikotoilets and targeting 1000 employees by 2012.
4. There have been incredible requests from local Municipalities in Kenya, Uganda andTanzania for the partnerships. And this shows greater opportunities for future private sector involvement on social service delivery.
5. Kenya has finally enacted a Private public Partnership legislation to encourage and promote private sector involvements in service delivery.
6. WSP-Kenya has approved a support component for all sanitation actors in Kenya to develop and built capacity of Kenya Toilet Association, which we are hosting. This will help coordinate the sector and address pertinent issues affecting delivery.
7. There is also emergence of great opportunities to transform CSR into Corporate social investment and ensure adequate resources are streamlined to addressing key social agendas.
· Financial: Ikotoilet employs diverse resource leveraging measures ranging from loans, awards, CSR and grants. The loan component (patient capital) from Acumen Fund of US$650,000 spread in five years. We have started the quarterly repayment of the principle and the interest.
· Social and Economic: Through the “toilet Mall” concept we have been able to strengthen financial resource recovery and also ensured total linkages between the investments with the users.
· Cultural: Through interactive and innovative social marketing, inclusion of beauty and music stars, religious and political leadership to break the barriers and open up discussions on toilet.
· Environmental: Urine harvesting for conversion to urea is a major boost of recovery, use of biodigesters for energy recovery and use of waterless urinals and thus saving
· The role of social enterprise as an alternative delivery model has a big potential for transforming development sector.
· There is need to refocus on corportate social responsibility by local and global corporate in order to streamline effective and timely delivery of social services to the citizens.
· There is need to tap on the growing consciousness of the media on topical social issues by establishment innovations a s a driver of social change.