In the urban slums of Kenya, open defecation and flying toilet is still the prime method of human waste disposal. This poses challenge to planners, health and social services providers and development partners. Different communities have tried to solve this problem but the solutions have not gone further than use of what is popularly known as ‘flying toilet’ or the latest ‘walking toilet’. The ‘flying toilet’ got its name from how the human waste filled polythene bags fly over the roofs usually at night while the ‘walking toilets’ got its name from how the user walks with the human waste filled polythene bags and drops it when they get a chance to get rid of it.
To combat this in the urban and periurban areas, a social enterprise by the name Ecotact is using a transformative approach of not only providing affordable public sanitation facilities but also incorporating other social amenities in what is popularly known as the Ikotoilets. They are toilet malls.
Ecotact, a social enterprise, launched the Ikotoilet initiative two years ago. Ecotact has constructed 40 facilities in 12 Municipalities in Kenya and serving an average of 300,000 people daily with safe water and sanitation.
Ikotoilet links space and service thus promoting interactions on the streets with a complete toilet mall within the space, toilets and showers, snacks, shoe shinning services, air time vending, newspaper vending to evolve an image synonymous with convenience quality service.
Ikotoilet sets up high hygienic standards, sanitation hospitality and an ambiance of convenience, through provision of quality loo and shower services in urban, markets, parks and the Informal Settlements.
Ikotoilet intends to make sanitation a beauty, sexy and fashion product.