Kenya: NMS Takes Over Public Toilets in Nairobi's CBD

Nairobi residents will now access public toilets in Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) free of charge ahead of issuance of new operation guidelines next week.

This is after the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) took over the running of the facilities from private entities.

The Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration said National Youth Service (NYS) officers have been deployed across the facilities to man them.

"Yes, NMS has taken over all the public toilets in the CBD and we closed them yesterday (Thursday) for renovation. Public toilets are meant to be free. The National Youth Service will be deployed at the public toilets," said NMS.

According to NMS, they will next week unveil how the public toilets will be managed going forward.

A public notice plastered on the toilets read: "Kindly note that all public toilets have been closed due to security reasons. We are sorry for any inconveniences caused."

Running battles

Running of the public toilets has always attracted running battles from groups fighting for control over the facilities.

Politicians, private toilet proprietors and youth groups have been at the centre of tug of war for the control of the multi-million shilling industry.

It is estimated that a single toilet is able to make at least Sh15,000 a day after deduction of operational costs. Users pay between Sh5 and Sh10 depending on the service sought.

18 public toilets

Nairobi city centre has more than 18 public toilets. City Hall says there are 68 public toilets in the city with 18 located within the CBD.

The facilities are operated under the public-private partnership that came into effect in 1999 when the defunct Nairobi City Council engaged the business community to find a solution to the deplorable conditions of the facilities.

Many others were privatised during the regime of former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero.

Alika designs and cleaning services limited, Twenty Four Seven Ventures limited, Marafiki Sacco Society Limited, Nairobi Central Business District Association and Iko toilet are some of the private entities running the toilets.

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