RECYCLE

Poo briquettes turn stomachs, win hearts at devolution event

The waste is sun-dried for three days and heated at 300 degrees Celsius.

In Summary
  • The briquettes are an innovation of the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company to protect the environment.
  • Nawasco has been producing the briquettes since 2019, and says demanding is only growing.
A bag full of human waste briquettes made in Nakuru. It can cook githeri, chapati and most other meals.
A bag full of human waste briquettes made in Nakuru. It can cook githeri, chapati and most other meals.
Image: JOHN MUCHANGI

What better way to recycle than collect human waste and use it to prepare the next dinner?

Hard as it is to stomach, that innovation by Nakuru county has won the hearts of many delegates at the ongoing seventh devolution conference in Wote, Makueni.

The Nawacoal are tennis-ball sized briquettes made from human waste collected from latrines and septic systems around Nakuru town.

The waste is sun-dried for three days and  heated at 300 degrees Celsius to kill any organism and remove foul smell.

The now harmless waste is then crushed into dust and mixed with a little molasses to act as a binder, rolled into balls, and dried.

This is now ready to be used in jikos instead of charcoal.

“It is harmless and smokeless,” Samuel Kimani, an environment officer at the county’s environment department, says. “ One kg sells for Sh16 only.”

This is more than enough to boil and cook githeri for over two hours.

The briquettes are an innovation of the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company.

Kimani says this saves the environment as it is cheaper than charcoal and wood.

“It is our way of saving the planet,” he says.

Nawasco has been producing the briquettes since 2019, and says demanding is only growing.

Samuel Kimani, an environment officer at the county’s environment department, displays some of the briquettes."
Samuel Kimani, an environment officer at the county’s environment department, displays some of the briquettes."
Image: JOHN MUCHANGI