Biogas Community Sanitation Project

The households we work with have long advocated for improved public sanitation. In addition to installing pit-latrines, we sought to replicate the environmental benefits of the pit-latrine, on a large scale, with an added value for the community. For years we have worked with 47 households in Gondar town’s Abiye Egzi Area Kebele and seen the degradation of its public toilet. The Kindu Trust was fortunate to receive a legacy gift, and set about working with local residents and officials. Our common goal was twofold – to upgrade the public toilet with waste management at its core, and introduce biogas as an alternative source of energy. 

In 2012 we worked with residents, a biogas gas engineer, and local government officers to design and install the town’s first bio-gas powered community service: a public toilet with eight cubicles: four showers, four toilets, hand-washing facilities, and a community kitchen—all powered using waste processed through the bio-gas digester, creating fuel.  The project not only upgrades the dilapidated old public toilet, it has the following added benefits:

  • Provides a shower and wash facility
  • The kitchen provides an income-generating tool for local residents
  • Supports local government investment in public services
  • Introduces a low-cost and eco-friendly alternative source of energy for residents, reducing local consumption of forest area and coal

The build was inaugurated on 28th December 2012, and opened for public use in January 2013. Three members of the community are employed full-time, and residents are using the kitchen to cook and sell their food. The Biogas Community Toilet & Showers is scheduled to be self-financing by the end of this year. It is proving popular as a method of improving sanitation and generating sustainable energy.

The Kindu Trust extends the Biogas Project!

The Kindu Trust is absolutely delighted to announce that we will be extending our biogas project to two other areas which also suffer with extremely poor sanitation facilities. The new facilities will replicate the last, including showers, toilets and a kitchen. We will also be taking forward learning from our first project. In the new facilities we will be installing gas fired injera ovens in the kitchen, as well as gas cooking rings. Injera is an Ethiopian staple food, similar to a sour pancake, which is eaten with almost every meal, therefore being able to cook it in the new kitchen will make the kitchen much more familiar and useful for the local community. These ovens will be available to local small business women who can cook and sell food from here, it is common that women cook food for local bachelors to increase their income and we hope these kitchens will support them with this. The Kindu Trust will also hold enhanced community meetings this time round to guarantee a sense of ownership and real input from local residents throughout each stage of the project. Local authorities are already involved and their involvement ensures a smooth transition to local ownership, and therefore stability, for both the facilities and the 4 job opportunities it will create.

This project is possible due to the support of Partenaires Association to whom we are very thankful. We are very excited to take the project forward and will be updating you as we make progress!

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Our project has been recognised for it’s innovation and impact by the WASH Impact Network and Results for Development and you can read about the project in more detail on their website.

The old public toilet

The old public toilet

The new public toilet

Upgraded four new public toilets…

Completed showers

…with four showers

The kitchen is not only used to cook, but is a place to trade/sell cooked food and socialise

The kitchen is not only used for fuel efficient cooking; it is also a place to sell cooked food and socialise