Key findings of the research: confirmed that Ethiopian MFIs are highly dependent on fund from external sources and they will find it difficult to extend loan for biogas user while satisfying the current financial need of their clientele; they also lack human resource capacity to participate in the NBP; they exhibited low level application of modern technologies such as MIS as a result of their limited financial capacity; majority of the MFIs are not aware of biogas technology and its benefit to the society, the environment and the business opportunity for their own organisation provided through new loan product; even if there is lack of proper infrastructure which could result in higher interest rate for rural households compensating the resulting higher transaction cost, MFIs are not charging rural clients higher interest rate, they rather vary the interest rate based on the lending methodology, the type of loan products and repayment period which is the same for all rural, semi-urban and urban clients.
Main conclusions: without building their financial, human resource and institutional capacity, with their current limited capacity Ethiopia MFIs will find it difficult to participate in NBP; lack of awareness about biogas lead MFIs to think that providing loan for biogas user is a risky business and they put forward a number of pre-requisites and additional guarantee requirements for biodigesters for the sake of their own security; lack of awareness found out to be a low level problem that could be addressed by continuous training and awareness raising campaigns.
The National Biogas Programme (NBP) in Ethiopia has set the goal to install 14,000 domestic biogas plants within a 5 year period and attach toilets to at least 50% of the installations to improve health conditions. The construction and connection of toilets to domestic biogas plants have many benefits and attaching toilets should be based on the biogas user’s willingness. Physical obstacles are associated with physical or chemical changes to the methanogenesis process or the effluent; and to health risks, which will increase with the introduction of human excreta as substrate. Non-physical obstacles are presumably related to social, cultural, religious or economic issues.
This study aims to widen the understanding of obstacles and incentives concerning the integration of sanitation to domestic biogas plants in Ethiopia by investigating biogas users’ conceptions and attitudes. Urban or rural conditions, occupation, income and other family conditions may be important as well as agricultural conditions, geographical conditions, and cultural and religious backgrounds. The study also gives a brief description of the physical prerequisites such as the effects on the methanogenesis process and the prerequisites for utilization of slurry. A qualitative case study methodology including the use of a semi-constructed interview form and a simple attitude measurements questionnaire was applied for research in field; and nine in-depth interviews with both rural and urban biogas users were conducted in different regions in Ethiopia.