Nairobi News


Govt intensifies efforts to tame ‘flying toilets’ menace in Kibera

The national government has stepped up efforts to improve sanitation levels in Kibera with the aim of ending the ‘flying toilets’ menace in the sprawling slums.

The government said it will construct five more ablution blocks in the informal settlement to add to the 15 already put up by the Athi Water Works Development Agency.

The new ablution blocks are part of Sh1.6 billion projects in Kibera through the Nairobi regeneration programme, to enhance sanitation and water provision in the slum, which is currently stands at only 20 percent.

The projects include setting up of water stations, ablution blocks, extension of sewer lines and laying of water supply lines in various parts of the informal settlement.

Kibera slum, reportedly the largest urban informal settlement in Africa, has been synonymous with sprawling shanties teeming with thousands of people crammed up in crowded structures.

The growing population with no matching resources has seen residents relieve themselves in black polythene bags and dispose the waste on rooftops, dumping sites and drainage trenches.

“The idea is to ensure that solid waste is not thrown into the river and if we get more funding, we will continue to build more ablution blocks as well as put up more sewer lines,” said Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Andrew Tuimur.

With the growing demand for sanitation and other crucial services in this informal settlement, a number of non-governmental organisations have stepped in to plug the gap.

In 2014, an ultra-modern sanitation block, comprising more than 20 toilets, bathrooms, and a laundry facility were put up by an NGO known as Human Needs Project Organization.

In May last year, the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) declared the informal settlement a special planning area suspending any further development in the area for two years.

NMS Director General Mohammed Badi said this was to allow for formulation of harmonised standards and guidelines for buildings and other forms of development there.

The government has been looking into ways in which it can improve water and sanitation coverage in Kibera and has drilled and equipped six boreholes and constructed elevated steel tanks, water kiosks, and water distribution pipelines producing 2.5 million litres of water daily to Kibera DC, Silanga, Kianda, and Soweto areas.

Independent community water supply projects have also been put up to provide clean free water to help curb the spread of Covid-19 in Kibera.

Additionally, Athi Water together with NMS have drilled a total of 193 boreholes across informal settlements in the city.