Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:53 UK

Kibera tries new bag to solve 'flying toilet' problem

"Flying toilets"
Kibera's "flying toilets" are a major health hazard

Trials of a disposable toilet bag have been carried out by families in the Kenyan slum of Kibera, before it reaches the market in a few months.

The "Peepoo" is a small biodegradable bag coated with a chemical which turns human waste into fertiliser.

Kibera - East Africa's largest informal settlement - lacks sewers and suffers from poor levels of sanitation.

Residents frequently use polythene bags, known as "flying toilets", to dispose of their waste.

It is hoped the Peepoo will provide a cleaner, more environmentally friendly alternative to the flying toilets, which have contaminated Kibera's water sources and caused the spread of disease.

It doesn't smell for up to 24 hours
Peepoo inventor Anders Wilhelmson

Peepoo's inventor, Anders Wilhelmson, told the BBC the biodegradable bag would actually save money, as it was chemically treated so that it could turn human waste into fertiliser.

He said the product was safe and easy to use.

"It doesn't smell for up to 24 hours, so you can use it inside, during the night, and the day, and then have it collected, or just use it in your back garden," he said.

The Peepoo was given to 50 families in Kibera who tried it for one month.

Dickson Matu Makau, who was in charge of distributing and collecting the used bags, told the BBC's Network Africa programme that the Peepoo proved to be very popular and was much preferred to the flying toilets.

The Peepoo will be free or cost the same as a traditional plastic bag.

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