The Sanitation Research Institute (SRI) is housed in Meru University of Science and Technology as a centre dedicated to research in sanitation as part of the initiatives in line with the University vision of being A World Class University of Excellence in Science and Technology and the University mandate of Training, Research, Consultancy and Extension.


Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST), formally Meru University College of Science and Technology (MUCST) was established through a Legal Notice No. 103 of 18th July, 2008 as a Constituent College of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). It was thereafter awarded a charter on 1st of March 2013 by His Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki (Former President) attaining the status of a fully-fledged University. The University’s main campus is located in Nchiru, Meru County and along the Meru-Maua road. MUST has a Town Campus located at the Hart Towers in Meru Town and a learning centre located at Marimba-Meru.


MUST has continued to play a leading role in the development and expansion of opportunities for higher education and research in Agriculture & Food science, Engineering, Information Technology, Health, Water and Environmental Science in arid and semi-arid lands. MUST is now well-positioned to take a lead in the emerging national agenda as we seek to contribute positively to supporting education, innovation, technology transfer, and socio-economic development of our country. MUST emphasis on expanding opportunities in the STEM disciplines namely; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will greatly contribute to the achievement of the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).




The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisage integrated effects of each of the 17 goals and encompassing everyone towards global peace and prosperity by the year 2030. Among the most critical goal in the Global South is water and sanitation captured in SDG 6. SDG 6.2 specifically seeks to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. This can be achieved by ensuring safely managed sanitation chain, which ensures protection of the health of individuals, communities and the environment. This however may not be attained because development in sanitation has been lagging in relation to urbanization and population growth in the global South. The little developments have focused on centralized systems that have been overwhelmed by population burst especially in the urban centres. Cognisant to the role and inter-relatedness of sanitation many sectors of development, there is need for targeted sanitation interventions specific for unique context and scenarios especially across the developing world. This calls for information and evidence-based interventions to address sanitation challenges. The role of research and capacity building is critical across the various disciplines relating to sanitation provision and across the sanitation chain and ladder.

This calls for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach across Technical, Engineering, biological, Social, Economic and Cultural aspects among others to cover both the hard ware and software parts of sanitation. This guided the establishment of Sanitation Research centre at MUST.


  1. To build capacity in sanitation through education and training in sanitation related skills.
  2. To generate knowledge and technologies through collaborative and/or interdisciplinary research and innovation in sanitation.
  • To transfer/disseminate and mobilize knowledge gained through research for the benefit of society
  1. To promote seamless flow of sanitation information between the University and the community through participatory outreach, extension and consultancy.
  2. To mobilize resource through research proposal writing, fund raising, grants etc towards inclusive sustainable sanitation.


At MUST, we challenge the sanitation dogma and thus lay the foundation for inquiry and innovations across the entire sanitation service chain cognizant of the role of hardware and software development in sanitation provision.

Sanitation dogma was born out of the social cultural perceptions that have relegated it to a passive exercise whose end point is to get the excreta from the immediate vicinity with no follow up on its subsequent end point. The gold standard on the other hand is the use of water closet connected to a centralized treatment plant ‘sewer system’, available to a dismal population in the global south with lesser proportion of it being adequately treated.

MUST SRI constitutes a consortium of multidisciplinary researchers and academicians drawn from various schools (Engineering, Natural Sciences, Public Health and Social Sciences).  The consortium works in partnership and collaborations with local and International Institutions and Organizations that are spearheading advances in sanitation. These include: Global Sanitation Graduate School (GSGS), International Water Association (IWA), Feacal Sludge Management Alliance (FSMA), Cranfield University, UK, Aston university, UK, University of Eldoret, Jomo kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Sanergy, Umande Trust, Sanivation, Kiyan limited and Kenya National Cleaner production Centre (KNCPC).

Towards its mandate, MUST SRI carries out various activities

  1. Capacity building. We have a series of course/training programs; artisan, certificates, Diploma, undergraduate, MSc and PhD. These are co-taught through the competency-based approach in conjunction with the relevant industries, making the more practical and relevant
  2. Research-Research is organized into thematic areas from basic research, innovations, cutting edge research to cover the software and the hardware. Results thus obtained are availed as open source
  • Extension and outreach- working in tandem with the line ministries, we offer advisory services to the community and its leaders in matters relating to sanitation.

Consultancy – the capacity and the expertise at the SRC engages with the policy makers and the industry through one on one consultancies to address sanitation challenges.