Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge_ Briquette Making

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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge_ Briquette Making

Hello SuSanA Members,

Looking back at this discussion and based on my own personal research on the subject, I would like to revisit the conversation surrounding the valorisation of FS as an energy source through Briquette making. 

I searched through the internet and also most importantly through resources published in the SuSanA library on how small businesses can produce Briquettes from FS. There isn't much in the sense of capacitating communities to take up this initiative as a business. Also lacking is a step-by-step manual on how Briquettes can be produced from FS with basic environmentally and locally sourced additive ingredients (I particularly did not like the idea of charcoal dust as an additive as it defeats the purpose of what we aim to achieve in terms of alternative environmentally friendly options. What are the alternatives in this regard?).  

Here are some of the resources I come across in my SuSanA search :
1. Financial Analysis of Briquette Businesses in Kampala, Uganda:   CEWAS - Financial Analysis of Briquette Businesses in Kampala (susana.org)
2. Resource Value Mapping (REVAMP): A tool for evaluating the resource recovery potential of urban waste streams:   3-2638-7-1474632188.pdf (susana.org)
3. Marketing of Faecal Sludge Valorisation Products   PowerPoint Presentation (susana.org)

Can anyone point me to other resources, publications, initiatives and interventions that are promoting briquette production from FS at a small scale/ community level?

Kind Regards,
Chaiwe
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Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Hello Prince and everyone,

Great to follow this discussion. More and more the sanitation sector is becoming an attractive sector for entrepreneurs. In relation to faecal sludge (FS), the options are numerous and swipe across the full sanitation service chain.  This thread seems to be weighing more on the end-use of sludge post-treatment or the resource recovery aspects of FS.

I would like to point you to this publication from Kampala that talks about what Kampala has focused on in the area of resource recovery. Kampala, is in many ways similar to Lusaka, mainly looking at the use of treated FS as a soil conditioner with briquette making and bio-gas coming in secondary to this, this is mainly because it is already quite lucrative to sell the treated sludge as is. A market for FS as a soil conditioner is readily available, however, issues of lack of standards on the end product have not fully been addressed yet.

See here:  www.susana.org/_resources/documents/defa...573-7-1464883011.pdf

EXTRACT:

Treated sludge from the NWSC treatment plants at Lubigi and Bugolobi isused as a soil conditioner and organic fertilizer and also as a fill material. On average, the sludge from the drying beds costs about USD10/tonne. Small scale florists, foresters, gardeners, briquette manufacturers and livestock farmers are some of the major users of wastewater sludge in Kampala (NETWAS, 2011).

Countries like Kenya have also looked at resource recovery through the production of black soldier fly larvae from FS, a viable protein source for animal feed.  

See here:  www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-insects...l-feed-idUSKCN1TI1BN

EXTRACT

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan farmer Victor Kyalo’s chickens have doubled the number of eggs they are laying. The reason: Human excrement.He is feeding them food from a Nairobi-based organics recycling company. Sanergy harvests waste from toilets it operates in a franchise network in Nairobi’s sprawling slums and feeds it to fly larvae, which become high-quality animal feed.

Regards,
Chaiwe
SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ and SIRWASH up to November 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Charlotte,

Thank you so much for sharing the insightful article. I will do my part to pass on best practices to the FSM sanitation workers back in my country in order to market briquettes in a much more effective way.

Regards.
Prince Kapelembe
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Prince,
Thanks for the update. Sensitization is definitely critical to be able to boost the uptake of the briquettes. In Kenya, there was a similar project done in a town called Nakuru. The uptake for the briquettes was quite slow at first. Fortunately, there was a ban on logging countrywide that made wood charcoal hard to access. Briquettes were the next best option. You can read all about it here .
All the best.
Regards
Charlotte
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Hi Charlotte,

For the target customers, charcoal is the main source of energy for cooking/heating. In comparison, the briquettes made from treated faecal waste are actually cheaper; it's the stigma attached to the product (it being faecal matter, despite being treated) that creates a barrier for its mass update. 
Alot of sensitisation still needs to happen in most areas.

Although, where briquettes made from faecal matter are failing to push sales, some of our FsM sanitation entrepreneurs are sucessfully marketing the connection and usage of biogas, especially to restaurants in local markets. 

Regards,
Prince
Prince Kapelembe
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Prince,

Just to find out about the marketing and sale of briquettes,what is the main source of fuel that the people are currently using in your area? Are the briquettes cheaper than them? I would recommend a brief market study to understand the dynamics. This will determine the best strategy to use.

Regards
Charlotte
Charlotte Mong'ina Maua
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Thank you for sharing this Machrine. 
It is quite inspiring looking at how those Sanitation Entrepreneurs are innovatively generating income from treated waste by products.

Back in my country (Zambia), we also have similar Sanitation entrepreneurs generating revenue at different points of the FSM value chain. However, the marketing and sale of briquettes is something that is still lagging. 
Your post is quite insightful as it can shares some best practices some of our FSM Sanitation entrepreneurs  can learn from.
Prince Kapelembe
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  • Mbirungi
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Eva, 
Thanks for the questions
Quick response: The marketability of the briquettes has been simple in a way because it has created a circular economy. The main buyers of the briquettes are urban communities. 

Both firewood and charcoal are expensive especially for the small urban business communities. Also in comparison tocharcoal, they generally burn for longer and have a more consistent heat output, which is
preferred by certain market segments such as restaurants, hospitals and schools.

Apparently, the price of a briquette is competitive to charcoal, allowing domestic users among rural populationsas well as the urban and peri-urban poor to adopt them as a replacement for charcoal. 
Machrine Birungi
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Thanks Machrine for the insight into the businesses operating within the FSM. 

I had a follow-up question regarding the acceptance of public/buyers of the briquettes within Kampala region. Were there any concerns with respect to marketing the product from public acceptability? Also are the main consumers of the product farmers?

Thank you,

Best,

Eva
Eva Mary

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Faecal Sludge Management Alliance
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  • Mbirungi
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  • Machrine Birungi is a communications professional, award winning news reporter, writer, and journalist, with a passion for telling stories that help people make informed decisions. She is currently a social media analyst at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in Geneva.
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Charlotte, I am happy to know that you found that article useful. Yes, there is a lot that we learn from sharing useful information.
Machrine Birungi
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Machrine,

Thank you for the response. The document you have attached has really been helpful. There is a service level agreement which has been written giving the different players mandate for easy operationalization. In the case of Kampala, KCCA is offering licenses and setting tariff rates whereas National Water and Sewerage Company is receiving and treating the faecal sludge.
Thank you for the insight.
Regards
Charlotte
Charlotte Mong'ina Maua
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  • Mbirungi
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  • Machrine Birungi is a communications professional, award winning news reporter, writer, and journalist, with a passion for telling stories that help people make informed decisions. She is currently a social media analyst at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in Geneva.
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Re: Sanitation entrepreneurs making business out of Faecal sludge

Dear Charlotte,
Thank you for the feedback. 
Clearly I would have really loved to link you up with the Fecal sludge entrepreneurs in Kampala to get a first hand story about their challenges. 

In the meantime, I found this article very informative. Here is the link. bit.ly/3duWyaJ.
Machrine Birungi
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