commercial productive use of faecal sludge in bengaluru

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Waste is a resource in the wrong place. People who have no sewer connection do go to the toilet though urban authorities seem to think differently given the neglect of the multitude of sanitation self-service models that have emerged in many cities. During a webinar, which was organised on 2 May 2012, Joep Verhagen of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre presented the results of a case study, which investigates a model that is based on the productive use of faecal sludge by farmers in and around Bengaluru (Bangalore), the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. This particular service has emerged without any technical or financial support.


  • 1. Commercial Re-use in BengaluruElisabeth Kvarnstrm, Joep Verhagen, Vishwanath, KaranSingh, and Subha Ramachandran
  • 2. Sanitation Service in Bengaluru - 36.7% of properties connected to sewerage network - 55% of the waste water gets treated - STPs work at one of third of their2 capacity Title Presentation
  • 3. What about the remaining 60% of the population?3 Presentation Title
  • 4. Waste is a resource in the wrong place Mahatma Gandhi4 Presentation Title
  • 5. Farmers know this for a very long timePolicy makers, administrators, sanitation specialists dont
  • 6. Key Actvities Customer Relations Customer Value Key Partners Customers Proposion Distribution/Marke Key Resources ting Channels Costs Revenue Model A new topic, a bit sensitive, small explorative case study that brought more questions than answersFigure Business model building blocks (Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010)
  • 7. Two Markets Primary Market Secondary Market7 Presentation Title
  • 8. Originally 9 building blockKey partners Customer Customer Key activities Customers value relations proposition Distribution/ Key resources Marketing channel Costs Revenue model
  • 9. Cell phones Households Enabling on-site Provide services Business Model Structure sanitation for at when needed customers and doing a neat job E&E Customer Customer Key activities Customers value relationsTrucks, driv propositioners, networ Distribution/ks and Key resources Marketingnetworks? channel Costs Revenue model Farmers Providing nutrients to agriculture at low cost Profitable but varying profitability Person-to- More long-term Cost for legal dumping => revenue personfor emptying on farmland business relation, trust
  • 10. Some key findings Over 100,000 houses are estimated to be currently served. Households pay between INR 800 and 1,400 for emptying The honey suckers run a mostly small and profitable but somewhat illegal business. Farmers save costs ( 130 and 3,000 annually), their crops are fine and consumers dont know. One farmer started selling dried sludge to other famers. The practice is not safe but risks depend on the kind of crop, the time the sludge is left in the crop, and the way it is applied.10 Presentation Title
  • 11. Business ModelInstitutional Technology andenvironment environment
  • 12. The regulatory framework Somehow it has escaped policy makers that people do not stop using a toilet if they dont have a sewerage network. The framework is weak and unclear and not enforced unless it happens to suit someones interest. Dumping is not allowed but still happens. Current practices will continue and grow but economies of scale are hampered.
  • 13. Thank you Credits Pictures by Vishwanath Data collection by Vishwanath, Karan Singh, and Subha Ramachandran Research design, case study by Elisabeth Kvarnstrm, Math Nilsson and Joep Verhagen Financial support: IRC and IWMI13 Presentation Title


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