A Surprising Solution to Kenya’s Cooking Fuel Crisis: Human Waste

When Kenyan authorities banned logging near Nakuru, the local restaurants were left without fuel to cook. The resulting innovation turns human waste into a clean burning fuel that is essentially free.

The women restaurateurs of Nakuru were hit hard by a recent ban on logging that pushed up cooking fuel prices. But they are turning a profit again thanks to clean-burning briquettes made from human waste. Clean-burning briquettes made from human waste have allowed Kenya’s women restaurant owners to go back into business. NAKURU, Kenya – Kenya is in the grips of a cooking fuel crisis. In February, the ministry of environment banned logging in all forests around the country for three months, citing widespread environmental degradation. In May, the ban was extended for a further six months . In the face of a resulting shortage of charcoal and firewood, the price of wood-based fuels, cooking gas and kerosene have skyrocketed. While charcoal used to trade at $8 per 90kg bag, the same amount of fuel now goes for $30. The price is expected to rise more as the ban continues. Some of those hit hardest by price rises have been traders who run small restaurants and food stalls, the majority of whom are women. Many had to shutter their businesses after it became clear that their clients could not afford the higher prices they were forced to impose to […]

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