Peepoo bags at schools in low-income areas in Kenya

  • muench
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Peepoo bags at schools in low-income areas in Kenya

Dear all,

I had the pleasure to visit the Peepoople project in Kibera, a low-income area in Nairobi, Kenya on 18 October.


A main street in Kibera by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

You can see all my photos in this set on Flickr:
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157636876856065/

It was very interesting. The whole operations seemed highly professional and very much welcomed by the local residents. Looking at the collected full Peepoo bags, I was amazed how clean they were (no faeces on the outside) and absolutely no smell.

We visited the drop off point for the full bags in an area called Undugu, which is open daily from 6:00-12:00.


Filled peepoos at the collection point which is open from 6 am to 12 noon. by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr


We discuss with users, collectors and sales people of Peepoople by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

We also saw some little shops which were advertising that Peepoos can be bought here:


As we walked around Kibera we saw several signs where Peepoos are being sold by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

Then we went to a small school in the middle of Kibera. Well, it was small in size but had 400 students!! I checked out one class room (as I also have children in primary school, I couldn't help compare it in my mind with the beautiful, large, colourful, clean classroom full of teaching materials that my children have the pleasure of using; compared to this little, dark and empty classroom... :( Well done to the teachers and head master who work hard at this school!


A classroom in Kibera by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr


IMG_3402 by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

Here you can see the school toilets: The Peepoos lined up in green plastic "potties" ready for the children to use. There is a care taker who looks after this.


This lady works at the school and hands out the Peepoos and green plastic "potties" to the school children by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

The kids grab a potty with the bag already inside; they go into a cubicle; use the bag (it is only used for defecation + perhaps some urine; but not for urinating alone). The cubicle contains a urinal; here is the girl's cubicle with a girl's urinal (the urine is infiltrated in the ground as that's cheaper than collecting and transporting it):


Urinal for girls inside of the cubicle (urine is infiltrated) - very clean, no odour by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

The boys' urinal:

Urinal for boys inside of the toilet cubicle (urine is infiltrated) - very clean, no odour by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr


Afterwards, they either tie the knot themselves or give it to the lady to tie the knot for them. Then they wash their hands. The full bag is put into this collection container (note how clean it looks!):


Collection bin for used peepoos at the school (from one day) by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

There are also still some pit latrines at the school. These are used by the teachers and older pupils, which puzzled me. Annika Nordin explained to me:

For you previous questions Rahab that was leading us during the field trip have complemented the information on the issues:

“The teachers prefer the old pit latrines for privacy and prestige purposes. They do not like mingling with the students. Most of the teachers ask us to have a separate cabin for them. We only visited one school but in some schools where we do not have any other option even the teachers use the Peepoos.


We also discussed if the schools get the bags for free or if they pay for them.

Rahab explained:

I mentioned that some schools used to buy. But this particular one was not buying. During the time when schools used to buy, we reported to the donors that some of the challenges that we faced in schools was that we used to record very low usage. We discovered later on that the students were using one Peepoo more than once just to cut on cost. When the donor finally decided to cater for the cost of everything we recorded a 100% increment in usage. That simply means that the schools could not afford it.
However the school still contributes the cost of water for hand washing and for cleaning the cabins, soap and tissue for their students.



We are discussing the situation with Peepoo staff by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

You can find more information about this project, including the treatment and reuse trials at the University of Nairobi here (this presentations is also available in the SuSanA library here: www.susana.org/lang-en/library/library?v...eitem&type=2&id=1861 )

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About the reuse and crop trials, Annika explained to me:

Initially there were some crop response tests at that plot but they are now conducted at the outskirts of Nairobi by the university of Nairobi. They are making very nice large scale randomized tests and the Peepoo fertiliser have given very good results. It appears that its better compared to other studies just using faecal matter so I guess that the added nitrogen balances the content even though a lot may be lost by the present handling.

We are just now analysing more Peepoos for sanitisation and got some more results on the infection rates and the latest collection from a school gave that 63% of samples were infected with Ascaris or Trichuris (including amoebas and other worms the percentage could be even higher) so it is for sure a heavy disease burden on those kids. It shouldn’t be surprising considering the environment but still I get a bit shocked everytime.


If you have any questions or comments, please put them here. I would be happy to hear from you.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S.
Here on their Faecebook page you can see a photo of the new high-speed production machine for Peepoos which was manufactured by a German company and which just started up a few months ago:
www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=49796198...77771&type=1&theater

The Peepoos in Kibera are sold for 3 Kenyan Shillings (= 3 Euro-Cents). When the full bag is returned at the drop-off point, the person bringing the bag gets 1 Euro-Cent refund for it (meaning that in effect, the use of the Peepoo costs the user 2 Euro-Cents).

There is some "price support" (one could also say subsidy) for the cost of the bag, i.e. it would be somewhat higher without any external funding. External funding is currently provided by Simavi who supports this project with funding they got from the Dutch Post Code lottery. Also Vinnova has supported the intial launch project. The exact business and financial details are part of the business plan of Peepoople and as a private company they don't need to share this if they don't want to. ;-)

See Peepoople website here: www.peepoople.com
Facebook page of the Peepoople Kibera project with interesting photos: www.facebook.com/PeepoopleKibera

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  • Camilla
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Re: UK Government contracts Peepoople

Dear all,

Just a comment on why grown ups and teenagers sometimes dont use the Peepoo and its facilities in our schools in Kibera. Teenagers admit they are teased by the younger kids in school for "still using a potty". Therefore requesting their own privacy cabins.

Please see a 2 min video from our solution filmed the other week: uk.news.yahoo.com/video/swedish-entrepre...ation-235804199.html

Last week Peepoople sent Peepoos for reaching out in the Philippines with our partners Red Cross, ACF, Oxfam GB and Unicef Philippines.

Also some more news, in relation to World Toilet Day an article in Huffington Post which gives some more information of status of Peepoople:
www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/peepoo...oople_n_4297067.html

Best wishes
Camilla
Co-founder of Peepoople and project and NGO in Kenya

Camilla Wirseen
The Cup
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  • muench
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Re: UK Government contracts Peepoople

Dear Camilla,

Thanks for your post!
Was it maybe not so wise to call the little green container a "potty" then?


This lady works at the school and hands out the Peepoos and green plastic potties to the school children by Sustainable sanitation , on Flickr

But I don't understand your answer about the private cabins? Also the young children use a private cabine when they use the potty + bag. Why is it better for the teenagers to use the private cabin and defecate into a hole (pit latrine) than using a private cabin and defecating into a bag? I think I am missing something. Do they need a bigger "pot" instead of a "potty" then?

That's great that you were able to send Peepoos to the Philippines with your partners. How many bags or emergency kits were sent and how many people can be helped with that? Who paid for it, I assume the UK government somehow, or how does this work?

Greetings,
Elisabeth

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Re: UK Government contracts Peepoople

Hi Elisabeth,

Think we sent/sold around 1 million Peepoos and our partners payed for the toilets like they buy blankets or medecine or other things necessary to reach out. Our Peepoos are usually distributed together with a hygiene kit.

What I was saying regarding teenagers was that they have no problem using the Peepoo or do it on a Peepoo Kiti (Peepoo seat in swahili). The size is no problem Elisabeth for grown ups.

But the teenagers I spoke to, in a class room some weeks ago, said they get so teased by the smaller kids when they line up with them for the Peepoo cabins, that they rather go to the old latrine. A teen wants to be cool. So the teenagers I met asked for their own privacy place where the Peepoos are available to use easy with bin for disposal etc.

Answer your question?

C

Camilla Wirseen
The Cup
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  • bracken
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Re: Peepoos in emergency situations and example of Peepoos at a school in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Dear all,
I confess to being extremely skeptical about the PeePoo approach, and do still have some serious reservations about it - but I must say that the arrangement certainly looks good in the photos and from your explanation Elisabeth.
As pilot schemes, like first born children, generally benefit from focused attention and "over parenting" I do still find it quite hard to imagine how this could work in an every day context. Many of the old problems remain I find.

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Peepoos in emergency situations and example of Peepoos at a school in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

I think for what it was invented (e.g. emergencies and "where nothing better exists yet") the peepoo bags are fine.

However what seems to be lacking is a vision on how people are going to climb the sanitation ladder after these "luxury flying toilets" ;)
PeePoo as a company should be especially looking into how their existing core-business and service chain could be extended to provide better solutions for people that are willing to buy them, instead of referring them to other standard sanitation solutions that might not be available in that specific place.

I still think the idea of an "electric" waterless toilet that automatically seals urine and feces in (compostable?) plastic bags would be a great way forward (I posted the basics a while back on this forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/52-mob...a-nairobi-kenya#3967 ).

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Re: Peepoos in emergency situations and example of Peepoos at a school in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Please see a newly produced video about the Peepoo School Program in Kibera:



Camilla

Camilla Wirseen
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Re: Grant funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya

Some good news concerning health impact of Peepoo:
Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Canadian Government, has selected the Peepoo project in Kenya as a part of their programme of “Bold Ideas with Big Impact in Global Health”. The focus of the programme is ”Saving Every Woman, Every Child”. Peepoople Kenya has received funds to conduct a health impact study over 18 months with the aim to analyse the health impact of Peepoo when introduced in slum schools in Kibera, Nairobi. 3000 children in schools around Kibera slum will participate in the study and the health response will be monitored through questionnaires and stool samples.

Through the “Muskoka Initiative” agreed at the G8 meeting in 2010, Canada assumed a leading role in promoting the health of women and children in developing countries. In May of this year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper convened ‘Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach’, a high-level summit on maternal, newborn and child health. Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer at Grand Challenges Canada, noted: “More and more children can celebrate their fifth birthday as a result of Canada’s commitment and leadership. Through supporting these innovative projects, we are further strengthening the global pipeline of maternal, newborn and child health innovations.”
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Re: Grant funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya

Hi
Thanks for this post. Do you know what the progress of the PeePoo or
similar is currently (2018?) Many thanks
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  • muench
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Re: Grant funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya

Hi,

I tried to find some information out for you in the background. I asked Camilla Wirseen, who is no longer with Peepoople and she wrote:

++++++++++

Dear Elisabeth,

Peepoo is being produced and still in use in Kenya.

IAS took over and Andreas in copy in this email is responsible. He can answer all your questions.

The reasons why Peepoople AB, the company failed, is another story, that of companies rather. Peepoo as a solution is still there.

Many warm regards and have a lovely summer

Camilla

Camilla Wirseen
Founder and CEO The Cup Foundation
thecup.org
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+++++++++

I also emailed Andreas Zetterlund from IAS but no reply so far (could be due to holidays). Do any of our Kenyan forum readers know anything about this?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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