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Security risks from slum toilet

Children and women bear a disproportional burden in Kenya’s slums which is mainly attributed to the absence of formalized drinking water provision, basic sanitation facilities and high security risks.

Only 24 percentages of residents in Nairobi’s slums have access to toilets at household level!

The result, women are raped on their ways to the toilet and live under a constant threat of sexual violence which has left many women too scared to leave their homes to use communal toilet and bathroom facility.

Women told Amnesty International of the high number of women and girls who have experienced rape and other forms of violence directly as a result of their attempt to find or
walk to a toilet or latrine some distance away from their houses.

A number of women told Amnesty International how their daughters or children in their custody had suffered rape and other forms of sexual violence while attempting to use toilets mostly at night but sometimes even during the day.

The case of 19-year-old Amina of Mathare is illustrative:

“I always underestimated the threat of violence when regularly using the latrine which all12 families who live on the plot where I live use. I would go to the latrine at any time provided it was not too late. This was until two months ago when I almost became a victim of rape… You have to walk for about ten minutes to use the latrine. It was just about 7pm when I had reached the latrine only to encounter a group of four young men – including one who was my neighbor and well known to me… Without saying anything two of them held my hands as one hit me on the face. I partly lost consciousness… I shouted asking them to leave me. I could feel that they were undressing me and one of them was saying that they would teach me a lesson on why I should not be out at that time… I am sure that they were about to start raping me when a few people responded to my shouting and came to my rescue and these men ran away… I did not report the incident because one of the four men who was well known later told me if I reported the incident to official authorities or the police they would look for and deal with me…

Read the recently launched Amnesty International report, Insecurity and Indignity: Women’s Experiences in the Slums of Nairobi.



Interesting Blog about fighting for better sanitation in urban slums in Kenya:
It is great to see so many people try to make live better for the millions of Kenyans living in slums deprived of basic public services such as water and sanitation. Here where flying toilets and open defecation are very common, new solutions and ideas are needed urgently to improve sanitation and the living conditions for a big majority of urban population living in conditions of poverty and low human dignity.

Keep it up guys!


Check out the latest issue of the SSP magazine

The ROSA (Resource-Oriented Sanitation concepts for peri-urban areas in Africa) project proposed resources-oriented sanitation concepts as a route to sustainable sanitation and was funded within the EU 6th Framework Programme, Sub-priority "Global Change and Ecosystems".

The project had duration from October 2006 to March 2010 and was implemented in four pilot cities: Arba Minch in Ethiopia, Nakuru in Kenya, Arusha in Tanzania, and Kitgum in Uganda.

Issue 4 of Sustainable Sanitation Practice (SSP) is s special issue that presents the highlight s and main findings of the ROSA project. The 7 papers included in this special issue show specific aspects of the ROSA project as well as an outlook on future activities.

It is available for free under:


News service "Sanitation updates" reports and posts video about school sanitation in Kenya by EPP

To improve sanitation conditions at schools like Ramba High School in Kenya, GTZ’s EcoSan Promotion Project (EPP) has constructed Urine Diverting Dehydrating Toilets (UDDTs). Out of this project the documentary "Promoting Ecological Sanitation in Kenya" was produced by EPP. A describtion of the project as well as an excerpt of this school sanitation video are posted now on "sanitation updates", a platform from IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (Dutch) and by USAID´s to share news on sanitation (to see the post on "sanitation updates" please click here). The project seems to be of interest for the international surrounding!

The video below shows the excerpt from the documentary “Promoting Ecological Sanitation in Kenya” by the EU-SIDA-GTZ EcoSan Promotion Project:


ECOSAN supported National School Health Policy and Guidelines

On 5th of August 2009, a launch of the National School Health Policy and Guidelines was held in Nairobi. ECOSAN could support and advice the preparation of the guidelines with experiences made in the ecological sanitation project. The development of the Policy and Guidelines was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MoPHS) and the Ministry of Education. Amongst others, GTZ supported the project in a technical and financial manner, in particular the incorporation of Human Rights and Gender principles, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) aspects, personal hygiene and sanitation into the policy and guidelines. GTZ has been enganged in a comprehensive school health programme in 40 schools in Thika district in Kenya to improve personal hygiene and sanitation. This project focused on improvement of personal hygiene and sanitation in more than 40 schools. The policy and implementation guidelines have been influenced by experiences made in this project and by lessons learned from the water sector and the ECOSAN projects (also supported by GTZ). Thus it appears that ECOSAN contributes to health and hygiene of pupils and teachers.

Poster of the Launch of the National School Health Policy and Guidelines
(source: Ruth Atieno GTZ 2009)
further Information:


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