Invention comes when there’s a need. And sometimes there’s a dire need for a solution.
In Kenya’s Rift Valley region, companies are collecting human waste to produce usable energy source – primarily briquettes – which can be used for heating and cooking. The region has limited human sewer system connection.
The locals have accepted and embraced the use of charcoal made from human waste.
Carbonization: human waste + sawdust + kiln baking
The process of making these charcoals is named “carbonization”. The waste is collected, dried for 2 weeks, broken down then mixed with sawdust. Lastly it is baked in a kiln, to produce the final product. There is no odor of human waste.
Poor sanitation and lack of residents having connection to town’s sewer system has propped up this new business opportunity. According to sources, for example, in a town named Nakuru, there’s only “1-in-4 residents” who are connected into the sewer system. Human waste is drained directly into storm drains and rivers, typically.
This service is being employed in many parts of Eastern Africa, including Kenya and Rwanda.