Utilisation and Sustainability of Bio-centres in Kibera Slums, Nairobi County
Kithandi, Rosinah Mbenya
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Bio-centre technology has been applied i to counter the challenges of water and sanitation resulting from high urban growth combined with urban sprawl of Kibera slums. Despite bio-centres coming handy to solve water and sanitation problems, the utilisation and sustainability of bio-centres is still wanting as human waste is still evident as one traverses Kibera. Further, despite the inception of bio-centres in 2007 which have the potential of mitigating water and sanitation issues, their use is still low within the populace. For example, from statistics it is estimated that only 2.35% of the total population in Kibera use the bio-centres (WASH News Africa, 2009). The objective of this study was therefore to examine the factors that determine utilisation and sustainability of bio-centres in Kibera slums. A total of 143 respondents were interviewed using structured and semi-structured questionnaires. In addition, 10 indepth interviews were done to elicit a better understanding of the study objectives. Besides, an environmental checklist was used by the researcher to collect data. Data analysis was done using quantitative and qualitative methods so as to address the objectives of the survey. Specifically, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse quantitative data while for qualitative data descriptive statistics of means, percentages and frequencies was used to describe and summarize data. Regression analysis (P<0.05, 95% Confidence level)was also employed to evaluate the relationship between socio-cultural factors, economic factors, design and location of the bio-centres on utilisation of bio-centre facilities in Kibera. The results of the regression analysis indicated that the village of residence, duration of stay, knowledge about bio-centre existence and the number of bio-centres were positively significance (P<0.05, 95% confidence levels). The results of this research indicated that, despite 73 percent of the respondents having knowledge of the existence of the bio-centres in Kibera, only 58 percent of the respondents have used the bio-centres while 42 percent have never used any of the bio-centres. The results of the regression analysis (P<0.05, 95% Confidence level)implicated that, the use of bio-centre facilities in Kibera is not dependent on household income but rather is dependent on the cost of the various biocentre facilities namelybathroom, toilet, water, bio-gas and recreation facilities (P<0.05, 95 confidence levels). The results showed a positive relationship between the bio-centre closeness, cleanliness, safety to the bio-centres and the utilisation of biocentre facilities by the respondents. In addition, the research found out the bio-centre facility is unequally distributed and usually unaffordable thus hindering its sustainable utilisation. This research therefore recommends that; Bio-centres should be well distributed in Kibera for easy accessibility by all residents in the area. From the research findings, despite the bio-centre facility being able to provide clean energy, the bio-gas has received low usage by the residents. Further research should therefore focus on how the bio-gas from the bio-centres can be stored or distributed to various household so as to maximize its economic importance. Further, the cost of bio-centre facilities should be further reduced to enhance affordability and sustainability.