In the recent days, there has been a lot of talk flying in the air about the ‘public’ toilets in Nairobi. To some, this is just cheap talk while to some, this a touch on their livelihood, their kingdom of riches.
At one point, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko announced that Nairobians would have free toilet services because all the ‘toilets belonged to the County Government.’
Some even made fun of the statement saying that there were more important and more pressing matters in the county than the issue of ‘free public toilets.’
What many people in Nairobi have not realized is that the toilet business in this city is a lucrative venture controlled by the mighty who make millions of shillings every month from it.
It is estimated that toilets in Nairobi make more than 58 million shillings per month, which is more than 696 million shillings per year.
The amount gotten from the toilet business has led to the mushrooming of rival groups that are clashing to have control of the toilet empire.
According to those in the business, individuals make between 20,000 shillings and 40,000 shillings daily. Nairobi Central Business District has a total of 68 toilets, 17 of them in the densely populated areas while 51 of them in other regions.
It is said that the 17 toilets in the densely populated areas within the CBD bring in 680,000 shillings daily and a total of 20.4 million shillings monthly. It is also estimated that from the 68 toilets within the CBD, individuals collect an estimated 1.9 million shillings daily, an average of 56.8 million shillings monthly.
To access a public toilet in Nairobi, one is required to part with 10 shillings, with up to 15 shillings in some areas. Almost all the toilets within the city are run by private individuals although the war is simmering between them and the county government where the county is claiming ownership.