Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector
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Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

Getting Things Done Sustainably

Rafael Ziegler, Lena Partzsch, Jana Gebauer, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann and Franziska Mohaupt

There are few sectors where ‘getting things done sustainably’ is as important as it is for the water sector. From drinking water and sanitation to water use in agriculture, industry, and ecosystems, Rafael Ziegler and his co-authors investigate the contribution of social entrepreneurship to the sustainable use of water.
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Chapter 2: Toilets before independence - David Kuria and Ecotact

Franziska Mohaupt and Rafael Ziegler


We arrived in Nairobi early one January morning in 2011. It was raining. This was a disappointment coming from grey Berlin in the winter. Yet it was a disappointment only for us; we were quickly told that a little rain in this dry period of the year was much appreciated by Kenyans. Weather aside, the streets from the airport to the city centre at this early hour were already full with cars. We got stuck in a traffic jam. Many people walked past; going to work, looking for work, shopping? We were not sure, but certainly the average age of the public had dropped radically from Berlin, Germany to Nairobi, Kenya. Via an industrial zone near the airport, a slum and then the city centre, our taxi took us to our destination - Kilimani. Here in this leafy, residential district of Nairobi, David Kuria has set up the headquarters for his social entrepreneurship initiative, Ecotact. This Kenyan organization focuses on innovation in general, but had come to our attention owing to its work on sustainable and environmentally friendly sanitation and drinking water for all. This environmental dimension is noteworthy. In 2011 at least 12.5 million people were threatened by drought in the Horn of Africa (OCHA 2011). The rainfall in the last years has been below average; nearly the whole region is affected by extreme water scarcity, declining water tables, and time and time again, long periods without rain.

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