How Kenyans Turn Poo To Cooking Fuel

Aug 08, 2017 at 1:25 PM ET

The Nakuru Water and Sanitation Company (NAWASCO) has found an innovative method for creating cooking fuel in Kenya: manufacturing briquettes of human waste.

NAWASCO collects the human excrement and sawdust around Nakuru, a small Kenyan town in the Rift Valley region. The process involves a kiln burning away moisture and venting the harmful gasses. The end product is safe, smell-free, and ready to burn.

The project tackles the lack of sewers and need for sustainable fuel supplies. While the idea of cooking with human waste makes some squeamish, residents have embraced the briquettes, using them for cooking because they last longer than traditional charcoal. The briquettes are not only efficient, but their processing has improved sanitation in poor parts of town.

NAWASCO says the pilot project will scale from 2 tons of briquettes a month to 10 tons a day, with plans for other projects around Kenya.