LIXIL to Provide UN-Habitat with Sanitation Facilities for Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement

LIXIL’s Green Toilet System to help improve sanitation and self-reliance for refugees and host communities

A panorama of the Kalobeyei settlement in Northern Kenya (Source: Takeshi Kuno)
A panorama of the Kalobeyei settlement in Northern Kenya (Source: Takeshi Kuno)

Johannesburg – LIXIL Corporation (LIXIL), a global leader in the housing and buildings industry, announces it has been awarded a contract by UN-Habitat to provide its Green Toilet System – a waterless and sustainable sanitation solution – for the Kalobeyei refugee settlement in Turkana County, Kenya. Designed for areas without access to water and sewage systems, the Green Toilet System will improve access to clean and safe toilets in the settlement and help refugees become more economically self-reliant by converting waste into fertilizer for crops.

There are currently 38,000 displaced people living in the Kalobeyei settlement. Every year, the influx of refugees into Turkana County continues with many coming from neighboring South Sudan. While most refugee camps in Kenya are designed to only temporarily deal with emergencies, displacement in the region has now carried on for over two decades. The Kalobeyei refugee settlement aims to provide a longer-term solution by promoting the economic self-reliance and social integration of refugees, reducing the burden of hosting refugees and enabling local communities to also participate more equitably in the hosting process.

Supported by the Government of Japan, UN-Habitat partnered with UNHCR and the Turkana County Government in Kenya in 2016 to promote the development of community-based, sustainable livelihoods and climate-resilient infrastructure in the settlement. The partnership is now piloting sustainable urbanization strategies, including for sanitation.

“Our approach at Kalobeyei is based on a participatory process that involves the local government and local communities, helping us create more sustainable solutions. We are now also working with private sector companies, such as LIXIL, to implement innovative technologies adapted to local conditions and for the benefit of both refugees and host communities. Through this broader approach, we believe that we can provide inhabitants with not just a place to live, but also help them achieve more sustainable livelihoods.” said Yuka Terada, Programme Management Officer of UN Habitat.

The Green Toilet System offers a recycling-based system to treat waste. The toilet separates solid and liquid waste, enabling maintenance workers to collect the waste from tanks and transport it to a treatment facility. Once turned into fertilizer and soil conditioner, it can be used for farming. The Green Toilet System also requires no water to transport human waste, circumventing the need for a traditional sewage system while protecting groundwater from contamination. LIXIL has worked on the research and development of the Green Toilet System since 2008, and conducted pilot tests in Kenya in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


LIXIL plans to install Green Toilet System washrooms and a human waste treatment facility in the Kalobeyei settlement by the end of March 2018. It will implement a training program to ensure these facilities will be properly maintained and can be managed by the local community.

Junichi Goto, Head of the Social Sanitation Initiatives Department at LIXIL, commented: “Ensuring access to safe sanitation is a pressing issue, and based on the successful research and development of our Green Toilet System, we are committed to working with UN-Habitat on implementing a sustainable solution for the Kalobeyei refugee settlement. We will continue to leverage our expertise and resources to further innovate sustainable, scalable measures to make a meaningful difference.”

Worldwide, 2.3 billion people do not have adequate access to sanitation. LIXIL aims to provide safe sanitation for 100 million additional people by the end of 2020, contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for 2030: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

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