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Meru University leading in human waste management strategies

Meru University leading in human waste management strategies
December 18, 2018 Eastern Newspaper

Meru University of science and technology is playing a leading role in trying to find a solution to the perennial sanitation and waste management challenges that are affecting many residents of various parts of the country.

In an initiative called; Bio Resource Based Sanitation, scientists from the University in collaboration with other partners have good news to deliver to the people of the world.

They are using the flies and waste material to produce high quality animal feed and even fertilizer for the agricultural sector.

The lead scientist; Joy Irungu has received accolades from stakeholders in the sector for her pilot project that is shocking people not only in Tigania West where it is being executed but also people from other parts of the world who visit the University at their main campus at Nchiru area of Meru County.

The concept here involves collecting human waste and waste from other areas like the kitchen and feeding it to a special fly.

When the fly feeds on the waste matter it lays thousands of eggs that later develop to larvae.  The larvae feed on the same waste and break it to other compounds. The mature larvae are harvested, killed and dried before being used as a raw material for production of animal feeds.

What remains from the waste material is also used as raw material for production of organic fertilizer to for use in farms.

Speaking to, The Mashariki News, Irungu expressed her concern on the increased incidences of health problems related to poor human waste management in the country.

She cited that the current system of digging pit latrines and using septic tanks is not the best in matters of hygiene and recycling of waste. She says human waste should be collected when fresh after separating it from urine that contains high levels of ammonia.

When this waste is fed to the flies; the insects’ break the matter into other compounds hence killing the original smell.

The new Meru University Vice Chancellor Prof Romanus Odhiambo has thrown his full support to this noble initiative terming it as a project that is doing what a technical university should be doing in this country.

‘ The universities are there to provide solutions to issues facing the society, am excited that my member of staff Joy Irungu and  her colleagues have successfully executed this project.  We can all see the products; my office will continue supporting such innovations.’ Prof Odhiambo told the Mashariki news.

Tigania west Member of Parliament Dr John Mutunga expressed his joy brought about by the project terming it as a solution to sanitation problems in public schools and urban centers. He promised to donate land for the expansion of the project in his constituency.

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