The project will take place in Mukuru Kwa Ruben, an informal settlement in Southeast Nairobi. It is located off Enterprise road and has a population of approximately 650,000. Only 1% of residents have access to a private toilet, and half the households are dependent on shared pit latrines, which not only are undignified and unsafe but are poorly maintained and often overflow, spreading effluent into the neighbourhood and polluting waterways (source, IIED). Inadequate sanitation is especially an issue for women and girls. 

Identification of the Mosque Road pilot area in Mukuru Kwa Ruben was done by the Water, Sanitation & Energy (WSE) consortium, led by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) after gazettement of Mukuru Kwa Ruben as a Special Planning Area (SPA). 

Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor’s support for the SSS pilot will be materials acquisition (pipes and fittings), community mobilization and a limited subsidy for landlords to upgrade toilets. Unskilled labour will be sourced locally by NMS through the Kazi Mtaani programme. NCWSC role in this is to utilise their expertise in pro-poor sanitation services to make a significant contribution to the SPA with the support of One Foundation. The project commenced in October 2020 and it is expected to take one year.

Objective: The objective of the project is to support the implementation of a Simplified Sewer System (SSS). This will target approx. 100 plots, benefiting about 3,000 residents at Mosque Road where the newly completed sewer line is designated to allow for a tertiary SSS. A conventional sewer system is not a viable solution in informal settlements, as it is impossible to dig a deep trench between properties (often unregulated) with high population density. A simplified sewer system has smaller diameter pipes than those of a conventional sewer. 

Project Benefits

The Simplified Sewer System will result in 

  • Improved sanitation services for residents in one village in the Mukuru low-income community
  • Generate new revenue streams for the utility, NCWSC 
  • Bring positive benefits to the surrounding environment by moving away from the usage of poorly managed pit latrines.
Simplified Sewer Project