Just when you thought that it’s the end of the road for that rickety bus plying your route, someone turns it into a booming business .
This is what the man behind Iko Toilet has just done. He saw a business opportunity out of old buses and which he converts into decent toilets.
The toilet bus, initially a 52-seater plying city roads, has been transformed into a mobile toilet — targeting huge crowds at events across the country.
Kevin Ng’ang’a, Iko Toilet’s head of logistics and marketing explains that, “We came up with the idea early this year. Unlike the traditional small toilets, this one can serve many people at a time. The bus also has bathrooms for those wishing to shower after the events”.
“It costs between Sh50,000 and Sh60,000 to hire the bus, but this can vary slightly depending on the event,” says Ng’ang’a.
The bus has two toilet seats and two urinals in the gents section. For the women, there are two seats and a bathroom with huge mirrors and flowers to make it more feminine and appealing.
“It is more presentable, decent and easy to move around compared to the smaller toilets — which would require a caravan to pull around. The small one costs Sh10,000 per day and it only serves around 200 people, while the bus can serve up to 2,000 individuals,” explains Ng’ang’a.
Just like luxury buses, the Iko Toilet bus has a swanky interior, complete with music system, snake lights, nice sinks, hand sanitisers, costly fresheners, designer mirrors and flowers to make it welcoming for those using it.
From the outside, the bus’ look has not been interfered with much. The inside however offers the ambiance you will get at home.
Those who recently attended the show by Jamaican Damian Marley at Carnivore grounds may have seen or even used it at the event.
To enable uninterrupted flow of water, the bus has a 3000-litre tank on its roof. The waste carrier on the other hand can carry up to 4,000 litters — which is drained after the event.
“After the Damian Marley event, the bus was a bit heavier,” shared Ng’ang’a on a lighter note.
Iko Toilet, which translates to “there is a toilet,” is a product of by Ecotact, which was started in 2007 as a social enterprise working to find innovative ways to help solve sanitation problems in Africa.
Since then, the man behind the business, David Kurai, has since reached more than 10 million people and helped them move away from a thinking where open defecation was a norm.
Iko Toilets have won a number of awards including Regional Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Africa 2009, Winner of the Change Makers competition and Hall of Fame (2008), and winner of the Schwab Fellow 2009 and Ashoka Fellow 2007.