Introducing the NGO Open Hearts – Offene Herzen e.V. (Germany/Kenya)


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Introducing the NGO Open Hearts – Offene Herzen e.V. (Germany/Kenya)

Dear Susana members,

today I want to introduce “Open Hearts – Offene Herzen e.V.” to you. Open hearts is a small German NGO which deals with a promising project in the heart of Kenya: In Western Kenya, Chwele, Open Hearts is currently installing a medical centre, aiming to support the local community in providing medical services to the poor and needy ones. In the course of the project, the organization came about to know the idea of UDD Ecosan toilet facilities. By that time, it was too late to incorporate the UDD idea into the facilities' architectural designs. Yet, the idea prevailed. Therefore, the directors took the decision to add a UDD facility in a separate premise behind the main building.

This project is currently being realized (pictures to follow soon). It was a perfect match for Open hearts and me to meet each other. I passed my Ecosan Online Course at Mariska Ronteltap's course in July and I am know incorporating the gained knowledge into the engineering challenges on the spot as being the responsible technical engineer and project manager including budgeting and supervising the financials.

We are realizing a four chambers UDDT with a separate urinal's chamber, meaning to offer four user interfaces at a time. The UDD chambers themselves will be provided with a self-made ferro-cement single squatting pan, each one on top of a feces chamber. One of them will be used while the other one remains closed until the feces chamber is filled. Hence, the use is alternating.

The urine is going to be stored in two 500 ltr PVC tanks in rectangular shape to allow sanitisation of the urine after each tank is filled before applying urine in agriculture.

We intend to promote the whole system to the local community and look forward to share the knowledge alike; authorities, ministries, businesses, international and local organizations are warmly welcomed.

This will be one of the rare privately funded hospitals in Kenya being equipped with an UDD Ecosan facility. However, realizing the project of the hospital takes a lot of aspects into account. Therefore, we face a lot of challenges at the moment. One of the biggest one is the installation of a water infrastructure for the hospital. We got several offerings from various companies in Kenya in order to construct a drilled borehole of 80m of depth (survey by the geologist has already been done).
Are there any hints for fund raising platforms or well-wishers you know? I would really appreciate.

The second challenge is the installation of the septic tank for the inner sanitation facilities which have been planned since the early start and hence have to be realized after Ecosan came onto the agenda.

We currently discuss two septic solutions: 1) being a standard cement solution according to the given Kenyan governmental rules and 2) being a septic solution with a plastic PVC horizontal tank (there are various suppliers on the market).
Is there any experience from you with such a plastic solution e.g. from Jojo Tank Inc.?
The septic tank should also receive the grey water from the hospital. Are there any known restrictions for such PVC septic solutions as compared to ferro-cement solutions?

I appreciate your answering.

Best regards,

Ecological Sanitation Consultant
currently acting as Project Manager in Sanitation for "Offene Herzen e.V. - open hearts" in Chwele/Western Kenya

Master in Business Engineering
Longing for a detailed review of the UN MDG achievements after 2015 with rectifying post-MDG goals

Mobile: +254708617662
Location: Kiminini (Kitale), Kenya

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