Marketing potential and factors leading to the acceptability of faecal sludge briquettes in low income areas of Lusaka : a case of Kamanga compound.

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Chisha, Kaulungombe
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The University of Zambia
Excreta ought not to be viewed solely as a problem but as a potential resource from which valuable resources can be obtained and sold to consumers. One of the resources that can be recovered from faecal sludge is briquettes. Briquettes can be processed from faecal sludge and used as a sustainable energy source at the domestic, institutional and industrial levels. Despite faecal briquettes being a good sustainable energy source produced from an abundant resource, end-user acceptability is still a challenge. This is mainly attributed to the perception that faecal sludge is a waste, not a resource. The perception of end users influences the future success of the faecal briquettes as an energy source. Therefore, this study aimed to determine factors leading to acceptance of faecal sludge briquette based on views of potential users and market potential. The market potential is based on an available energy source the briquettes could replace, referred to as a substitute product. Qualitative methods, employing focus group discussions were suitable for determining the acceptability of the product through participant response. Quantitative methods were employed when determining the market volume potential of the product and the cost compared to other energy sources. An interview guide, guided the Focus group discussions (FGD), which resulted in identification of themes related to factors leading to acceptability of faecal sludge briquettes. Household heads were purposively sampled through a list of household heads, provided by community heads of each of the six zones that make up kamanaga. A total of six focus group discussions were carried out. Total sampling was used to sample charcoal traders who provided both quantitative for market potential and qualitative data in line with FS briquette acceptance. Both the quantitative data and the qualitative data from the charcoaltraders was collected with the use of a survey tool for key informants. Chi square was carried out, no associations were found between acceptability factors and individual factors such as religion, gender etc as suggested by other studies.Market Driven Approach (MDA) calculation tool was used to analyse the market potential of faecal sludge briquettes based on the substitute product. Findings on market growth potential revealed that factors such as; an increase in the number of traders, increase in the daily purchase of charcoal were good indicators of growth. Calculation of the market volume revealed that 50kg bags of charcoal had the largest market volume ($1356.6) while 1.5kg plastics of charcoal had the lowest market volume ($694.4). The application of a 1.1 adjustment factor resulted in a total adjusted market volume for all the charcoal quantities to be $5809.078. Major FGD themes included; Current energy sources used in Kamanga and factors leading to the acceptability of faecal sludge briquettes in Kamanga compound. Sub themes included; Perceived usefulness, ease of use, affordability, smoke production, awareness creation, availability, and perceived performance of faecal sludge briquettes. A comparative cost analysis of currently used energy sources in the area was carried out where it was found that faecal briquettes cost ZMW 0.5 more than charcoal. Despite the ZMW 0.5 cost difference between charcoal and faecal sludge briquettes, the longer burning time of briquettes would make them more cost-effective. Based on participant responses, acceptability for faecal sludge briquettes is achievable if the product can meet the expectations of the users. Positive user response coupled with better or similar growth trends of charcoal will make for good market potential. Product development and user education will be required to bring awareness to potential market participants as they are key in the success of the briquettes. Key Words: faecal sludge briquettes, market-driven, acceptability, market growth, market volume, excreta, themes, market potential, substitute product
Septic tanks. , Sewage. , Briquets (Fuel). , Faecal sludge.