Ecotact's Ikotoilet concept -- Sustainable sanitation services in Kenya
Ecotact is a Nairobi-based company established in 2008 to improve the urban landscape for low-income communities through environmentally responsible projects in sanitation and housing. Under the Ikotoilet project, Ecotact builds and operates high-quality, public pay-per-use toilet and shower facilities. Customers pay five shillings ($0.06 USD) to use a facility.
Through a Build-Operate-Transfer model of public-private partnership, Ecotact enters into long-term contracts with municipalities to use public land. In return the company bears all construction costs and operates the facilities for five years. But it relinquishes ultimate ownership of the facilities to the municipalities, which can decide whether to extend their contracts with Ecotact.
The company hires staff to operate and clean the units after each use, and offers other revenue-generating services and products such as advertising, shoe shining and soft drinks and newspapers.
Ecotact has 29 units operating across 12 municipalities, including two in the slums of Mathare and Kawangare, Its facilities saw more than four million uses in 2009 and five million uses in 2010. Ecotact is defining a new standard of hygiene in target communities, reducing urban pollution from human waste, generating employment opportunities for low-income individuals, and restoring dignity to the provision of sanitation services.