by Raphael Graser
Water is a basic need for life, human right and public good. Nevertheless, there are an estimated 800 million people lacking sustainable access to drinking water globally. Among them are the Nepalese population, where the majority lacks access to safe drinking water due to bad infrastructure, and the focus of the government and water and sanitation stakeholders on water quantity rather than quality. In addition to this, poverty, poor hygiene habits and ignorance play a major role in increasing the prevalence of waterborne diseases. The NGO ECCA offers a promising solution with its awareness-creating program that in- cludes the production and dissemination of WATASOL – an inexpensive chlorination product to purify water – to the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) in Nepal.
The thesis at hand analyzes ECCA’s potential for scaling its WATASOL production and sales and makes recommendations to develop a future strategy to reach Nepal’s BoP by pursuing a market-based development approach. It shows that reaching the poor at the BoP with a market-based safe water approach is dependent on various issues, such as a created market, entrepreneurial initiative and consistently marketed products but there are also limit- ing factors such as the difficult topography, a by subsidies destroyed market, wrong product positioning and people’s prevalent habits.