Every day millions of Kenyans flock to the city center, and the country’s capital is always busy day and night. From transport, hawking, and begging to crowded toilets, the city is always a hive of activities.
One of the businesses Nairobi businessmen are reaping big from is the toilet business. A 20-minute scrutiny at the National Archives-based public toilet revealed that thousands of men, women, and children flock into these facilities to relieve themselves.
They pay sh10 at the counter, where they get issued with tissue paper. In a single hour, about 200 people access the facilities.
According to Makale, the CEO of Unique Loo Limited and owner of Alika Cleaning Systems, which has been running a number of city toilets, the business is very profitable and has enabled him to educate his children in some of the prestigious schools abroad.
In a previous interview, Iko Toilet boss David Kuria revealed that his chain of four toilets in Nairobi CBD raked in Sh40,000 every single day.
“Business is even better when it rains. We are talking of an income of over Sh300,000 per toilet per month, yet rent for the same toilet goes for just Sh20,000 or less,” says an operator in one of the toilets.
Smaller players are said to take home Sh10,000 per day or more for those in strategic points like OTC, Bus Station, Accra Road, and Muthurwa market
An investor running 5 toilets, on the other hand, makes about Sh1.5 million monthly. The expenses are minimal and include rent, water, tissue paper, and employees.
Some of the players say they don’t operate at night, given the high crime rate in Nairobi, even though the demand for the facilities at night is always fair.
As of 2018, Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) alone had 62 toilets which translated to Sh620,000 a day hence Sh18 million monthly income.
However, unending fights have ensued between the county government and the owners, over control of the toilets, with the county government claiming that the toilet owners did not have valid contracts to enable them to manage the facilities.