The Well-Oiled Machine of Jasho Letu
One of the founding organizations of Umande’s very first biocentre, TOSHA I, Jasho Letu has continued to find success over the last 12 years. Located in Katwekera Sarang’ombe, the group has made ample use of the space and resources near their biocentre.
From the outside, the Jasho Letu Biocentre looks very similar to many others. It has a ground floor with numerous toilets and bathrooms and an upstairs section for meetings and church gatherings each week. The caretaker will greet you outside the center as you come to use the toilet, bathroom, or collect water for the day. However, once given an opportunity to learn more about the centre and its operations, you learn it is more than it first appears.
Each week, the members of the group meet on Friday around noon to discuss developments, earnings, and next steps for the group. With over 100 group members, the discussions tend to last many hours, but each member is able to walk away knowing the next steps for the biocentre and the group as a whole. This large group has managed to make quite the impact on their community. Beyond contributing to TOSHA I and the establishment of their own Jasho Letu Biocentre, the group has found numerous routes for earning. In the area immediately surrounding the Jasho Letu Biocentre are numerous houses that were built by the group. These houses are now rented out to community members and a smaller community has formed within this small compound.
The area would be incomplete without the duka, or shop, located just next door. This structure was also built by the members of the Jasho Letu Group and is rented to a duka in order to provide goods to the community members. But, that’s not where the connection ends. The biogas produced from the Biocentre is piped over to the duka so they can provide a kiosk for hot water vending.
Their impact also reaches beyond the immediate area. A few minutes’ walk away, the group has set up a water kiosk to provide a closer point of water collection for community members. Numerous kiosks are spread around the area to decrease the amount of time people have to spend walking to a water vendor. Additionally, the group recently purchased land to assist in their housing development plan. They are currently working with the City and County Governments in order to build more houses and apartments to relieve the strain that parts of Kibera are beginning to feel.
Jasho Letu embodies a big component of the Biocentre mindset. They have found ways to continuously expand and develop their community through the benefits gained with the Biocentre. Not only have they assisted in promoting water sanitation, but they have made a considerable impact on the greater community surrounding their center.