Despite bold efforts by a range of actors to improve sanitation, a significant majority of households in urban areas are as yet to gain access to decent, dignified, healthy and affordable sanitation choices.
The Bio-Centre Initiative brings together a civil society agency (Umande Trust) and Bankable Frontiers, a strategic international private sector consultancy firm. The take off point are the existing 52+ bio-centres in Nairobi and Kisumu. These are multi-purpose service points designed to improve access to decent and affordable sanitation; convert human waste into clean energy (biogas) and fertilizer for urban greening; provide income generation and access to information to community-based enterprises.
The project’s objective is to explore innovations in Bio-Centre pricing, payment systems, and money management tools to improve access to healthier sanitation while its financial bottom line is to improve the profitability of the bio-centres.
Our vision of success is that of a healthy, environmentally-friendly “reinvented toilet”, priced for universal usage yet scalable without need for subsidy; and which is leveraged to incentivize the phasing out of unhealthy surrounding pit latrines. The project is committed to affordability and specifically aims to contribute to healthy urban sanitation at a user cost of around $0.05 per household per day. Primarily, the initiative focuses on the inter-twined and reinforcing 4Ps: pricing, [healthy] practices, payment systems and profitability.
The project shall at all levels, actively engage community groups, small-scale service providers, public sector, financial, private sector, information and the civil society actors in an on-going process of dialogue, learning and strategy development.