What do you look forward to doing in Kakuma/Kalobeyei? How do you see your business growing in the next 5 years? What challenges have you had to overcome?

We will build and operate a fecal sludge treatment plant near Kakuma that converts waste into low-carbon fuel briquettes. The revenue from selling fuel will reduce our plant’s operational costs, supporting long-term sustainability. Our objective is to provide Kakuma with a safe and affordable solution for human waste disposal that is not too far from the camp.

Currently, human waste from Kakuma must be transported all the way to Lodwar for safe disposal, and inevitably, because of the long distance involved, it usually ends up being dumped near the camp. Building a waste disposal plant in Kakuma will decrease the environmental degradation and reduce the current cost of waste collection.

Our second objective is to provide local institutions with a source of sustainable fuel. Our waste conversion process mixes fecal sludge with sawdust. Although biomass is the most-consumed energy source in Kenya, its unsustainable and unimpeded consumption leads to mass deforestation that accelerates climate change. We intend to produce fuel for sale to institutions for use in their biomass boilers, thus replacing firewood, the impact being a reduction in the rate of mass deforestation.

Each ton of fuel sold will save an estimated 22 trees.

The grant will fund:

  • Capital costs of a waste-to-value treatment plant.
  • Sales costs to secure fuel purchasing contracts with UNHCR and local institutions.
  • The plant’s operational costs and fuel production for 18 months, after which it will be operationally sustainable, and sufficient to fund itself.

Sanitation is an expensive public good, yet a private sector actor like Sanivation can make it feasible. Kakuma faces extreme funding constraints that prevent stakeholders from setting up sanitation infrastructure and funding for consistent and effective waste treatment operations. The grant will de-risk a sanitation solution for Kakuma by providing up-front capital to provide sanitation and build a waste-to-value model that is operationally sustainable without further funding. The grant will also incentivise institutions to replace a portion of their firewood purchases with an energy source that does not degrade the environment.