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Sustainability through Collaboration

Through a partnership formed at the AGS Annual Meeting and WSCSD’s Students Summit on Sustainability held at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in February 2009, Mr. Otieno Nickson and Kristina Nelson agreed to plan and undertake a biosand filters water project in Kenya.  This was developed as a test case for the WSCSD’s African Initiative.

In December 2009, students from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and University of Regina (Canada) working through a spin-off NGO — Safe Water and LED Lighting Operatives Worldwide (SWALLOW) launched a collaborative Water and Sanitation project in Nyakongo, a remote village in Nyando district, western Kenya, providing household Biosand Water Filters to HIV / AIDS support group adversely affected by perennial flooding.

So far, the project has provided 124 households with biosand filters for purifying drinking water. One of the community leaders has been trained on the construction of Ventilated Pit Latrines and Ecosan toilets an environmentally friendly form of sanitation that can withstand the flooding which frequently destroys the pit latrines constructed in the village. The project aims to provide sand filters to 800 households as well as construction of Ecosan Toilets in schools, churches and households within Nyakongo Community by 2016.

The project led to the conceptualization of the Nyakongo Sustainable Village Initiative (Nyakongo2030) for cross-border and multi-disciplinary collaboration among campus students and other development stakeholders in co-creating a model sustainable village.

For more information on the project, read the following documents: