Lunga Lunga! Hip Hip Hooray!
We have completed construction of our pilot site in Lunga Lunga. According to Cities Alliance, approximately half of the slum’s nearly 20,000 residents work in the nearby industrial area, and most of the remainder work in small businesses within the village. Despite that relatively steady income stream, fewer than 5% of the area’s 3000 structures have toilets (again, according to the Cities Alliance report). As in other informal settlements throughout Nairobi, many Lunga Lunga residents use “flying toilets,” as well as the river that runs along the slum’s border.
Our toilet in Lunga Lunga is on the grounds of a Bridge International Academies school. Bridge is a social enterprise that’s building low-cost (i.e., $4/month), high-quality private primary schools in the slums. The company opened its first school January of 2009 and is now operating 10 schools throughout Nairobi. We’re excited about our partnership with Bridge because, like Sanergy, the organization is building a scalable business to provide high-quality and much needed services in the city’s informal settlements.
At this site, we’re also partnering with the Lunga Lunga Youth Group. The community-based organization currently has 40 members and is running several small businesses that both benefit the neighborhood and generate a modest income for its members. Over the past couple weeks, the youth group has played an active role in the site’s construction, and throughout the pilot, they will be responsible for waste collection and processing.