Sanergy, East Africa
Growing up in Mukuru wasn’t easy. At first, my Dad didn’t have a job and there were many school fees and we needed money to eat. I had heard about Sanergy and had wanted to get a Fresh Life toilet simply because of the environment here. It was terrible in terms of sanitation.
There were not toilets nearby, only very far from where we lived. At night, they became difficult to reach and security became a concern. If you were new to Mukuru, you could forget where your house is located and not be able to find your way home after going to the toilet. It’s so big and there are so many different routes and alleys. It’s easy to get confused. Without a phone, you would end up having to sleep at the police station.
Without a toilet nearby, everyone relieves themselves using flying toilets, and the kiddies end up crawling through the waste, putting their hands in their mouths and getting sick. My friend’s child got sick and died because of the waste.
I purchased my first Fresh Life toilet in 2012 using my savings. I put it on a strategic plot of land my Dad owns, where many people cross on their way to and from work. It has been successful and I earned enough to buy a second toilet. Now, I have taught my cousin to operate them and keep the records while I run a laundromat. I usually make around 17,000 to 18,000 shillings a month from my toilets. I have also recruited three of my friends to become Fresh Life operators.
What makes me most proud about being a Fresh Life operator is that it’s a business that gives me money to sustain my life, support my younger brothers and my Dad, and plan for a future. I’m planning to get another Fresh Life toilet if I can get another plot of land. I am very fond of Fresh Life because they talked to me about how to manage my business. If you can manage one business, then you can manage another.
It’s important to me to help better my community. My dream is to empower young people. Even when I leave Mukuru, I really want to empower the youth here so they know we can make it in life.
It doesn’t matter the condition you were born into or where you are from, we breathe the same breath that God has given us. We can make it.
Alex, 30, grew up in Nairobi’s Mukuru development and works as a Fresh Life operator for Acumen investee, Sanergy.