Mapping of Fecal Sludge Treatment Options in Kenya
Quercus Group > Humanitarian Innovation > Mapping of Fecal Sludge Treatment Options in Kenya

Mapping of Fecal Sludge Treatment Options in Kenya

Globally, approximately 1.8 billion individuals are reliant on faecal sludge management (FSM) for their on-site sanitation needs, however a great percentage of the faecal sludge (FS) is not adequately treated before disposal or reuse thus posing a great risk to the health of the environment and the public. For countries in the global south such as Kenya, most individuals are dependent on on-site sanitation systems, but FSM do not operate at optimal levels due to breakdowns and also are limited in capacity to meet the populations demand.

Through exploratory field work and secondary data collection and review, the faecal sludge management options in Kenya have been identified along the sanitation value chain. Treatment of the faecal sludge is limited due to inadequacy of the technologies and treatment plants. Moreover, manual emptiers and truck transporters of the faecal sludge deposit the faecal sludge in open water bodies and rivers without treatment. This unsafe disposal of faecal sludge due to lack of treatment services poses health and environmental hazards that may limit the improvements in drinking water supply and health services thus having a negative effect to the environment and public health.

The treatment end products of faecal sludge for resource recovery in Kenya was identified as animal feed, Soil conditioners, biogas generation for cooking , heating and lighting; and briquettes to replace charcoal and fuelwood. Most businesses involved in the faecal sludge reuse are private public enterprises such as Umande Trust, Sanivation, Makaa-dot-com and private enterprise such as Sanergy. Reuse of the faecal sludge is limited due to the perception of the consumers which perceive that they have bad odour and thus laxity in their usage. Also, the cultural perspective of different communities in Kenya limit the reuse of the faecal waste.

It is also important to consider the agricultural waste since most faecal waste reuse options are mixed together with agricultural waste such as saw dusts to increase the calorific value of the briquettes.

Client name:
Finish INK


The mapping is expected to meet the following objectives as set by TOR of FINISH Ink vide:

  1. To evaluate faecal reuse initiatives available in Kenya
  2. To determine what and where are optimal faecal sludge reuse solutions and their locations
  3. To evaluate the potential for turning faecal sludge and other organic waste streams into useful products across Kenya.


The mapping has been undertaken in 16 different counties within Kenya based on the available on-site sanitation systems and accessibility. The methodology employed a detailed literature review of existing scholarly and grey literature, followed by a qualitative data collection through Key informant interviews (KIIs) and direct observations (DO). Two Interview guides i.e. Business operators interview guide and Stakeholder interview guides (NGOs, CBOs, Public officials and developmental organizations) were later developed based on the information obtained from the literature and a total of 15 Stakeholder Key informant interviews (KIIs) undertaken and 6 Businesses interviews. The data collected were analysed through thematic coding.


The major limitation of the exercise was that it relied heavily on secondary data and qualitative data but did not include a house hold survey that could generate a more accurate primary information. In addition, only 16 counties were sampled.