Crap fuel – Kenyan fixes failing sewage system and uses it as power source

Leroy Mwasaru is a student at Maseno School, staying in the new block for 720 students came with problems – A frequently failing sewer system at the base of a pit latrine meant the dorm smelt pretty bad. Add this to the the the lack of fuel for the kitchen and the college experience leaves a lot to be desired.

Leroy set up a human waste bio-reactor that turns the schools waste into biogas. 


An underground reactor stores the waste along with micro-organisms which break it down and produce the biogas.

Not only is this alternative fuel method good for sanitation and reliability but it reduces the schools dependence on fuel from wood via deforestation and improves the health of the cooks (who no-longer have to work with wood burning systems) and students (who no longer have to work in an environment with a failing sewage system).

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Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grass roots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (; converting previous pasture land into a rich permaculture farm growing produce for sale locally. I deliver workshops on sustainable living, including building renewable energy technologies, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (

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