An assessment of briquette making as an alternative solution to solid waste management in Kampala City
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Solid waste management services Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) are characterized by ineffective, inefficiency and unequal distribution of the service to all city residents. This makes city dwellers especially in the ‘informal’ settlements to adapt other approaches of managing solid waste. This study focussed on the city dwellers that turn organic solid waste which compose above 70% of house hold generated solid waste in Kampala City ‘region’ into fuel briquettes. The study identified and categorised actors involved in briquette making depending on their roles and interests. The study also examined how the material flows in briquette making enterprises looking at materials used, processes and the actors involved along the chain of briquette making. The study using the cost-benefit methodology evaluated the economic value of briquette making enterprises. The study applied ethnographic interviews and observation methods to collet primary data. Data was analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods including content/thematic analysis, Material flow analysis system and Cost-benefit analysis techniques. The study findings show that briquette making rallies actors ranging from briquette producers such as community based groups and individual entrepreneurs, raw material suppliers including households and charcoal sellers, product consumers such as restaurants, schools and poultry keepers, regulatory institutions such as Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), National Environmental Authority (NEMA) and Local government councils and advocators for briquette making activities such as non-profit organizations and donors. The actors’ roles range from raw material collection and their transformation into fuel briquettes, marketing, activity regulation, policy formulation and financial support. The actors’ interests are in job creation, income earning, living in clean and safe environment, provision of alternative fuel sources and environmental protection and conservation. The study found out that organic solid waste is collected or supplied by households and charcoal sellers to producers in the GKMA and is transported to production site where the materials are dried, sorted and carbonized to form char that is mixed with binder before compacted to produce fuel briquettes. The study findings indicate that briquette making is a project worth investment with a benefit/cost ratio 0f 1.5. The study concludes that briquette making is a project worse while investment with high economic value that attract community participation in waste management through resource recovery due to its benefits in employment creation, income generation to urban resident. Therefore KCCA and other actors need to work together to make briquette making in Kampala City ‘region’ a success. This can be done through extending both financial and technological support to all groups and individuals making briquettes.