The research focused on the statistical analysis on the patronage of sachet firms in Afikpo – A-Zed, Roval and Jokwa Table water. Analysis of variance techniques was employed to ascertain if there is a significant difference in the patronage of the various sachet water firms. Result of the analysis shows that there is no significant difference in the mean sales of sachet water firms. Time series analysis was also used to ascertain whether there is change in demand of sachet water over time. Least square method was used to estimate the trend of the patronage and additive model to estimate the seasonal variation which shows that the demand is higher during the fourth and first quarters of the year. The second and third quarters experienced low in demand. Recommendations were made based on the findings. We aimed at some, for example sachet water firms should increase its production during first and fourth quarters and also decrease its production during second and third quarters of the year to avoid dumping resources.
Safe and potable water supplies in both rural and urban centers in Nigeria are still inadequate in spite of over five decades of independence and several effects from various governments.
In many developing countries, non availability of water has become a critical and urgent problem and it is a matter of great concern to families and communities. Increase in human population has exerted an enormous pressure on the provision of safe drinking water in developing countries.
Towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) – Action on Water and Environmental Sanitation is timely in the light of the problem of poor availability and access to good drinking water in many developing countries of the world including Nigeria.
According to World Health Organization (2008), “About one-fifth of the world’s population lack access to safe drinking water, and about forty percent of the world’s population lives in countries with moderate to high water stress. Yet, with the help of policy and legal reform, international cooperation community and private sector participation, technical innovation – there are encouraging signs that such stress could be averted. The connectivity between poverty, hunger, availability, affordability and access to drinking water to sustainable development is succinctly described by the goals of the millennium declaration. “The links between water, health and poverty are numerous and complex.
Access to safe water affects adequate sanitation which in turn reduces the risk of water borne diseases especially in poor urban communities. The poor urban often spends up to 10-20 times more on water from vendors than piped water.
According to Akunyili (2003), it is the inability of the government to persistently provide adequate potable water for the growing population that has tremendously contributed to the proliferation of the so called sachet water producers in Nigeria. Thus, the quest for solution to the dearth of potable water eventually led to the production of sachet water by some opportunistic private individuals who thought they could profit by packaging and selling water to the needy. The production of sachet water that is not only safe, but tasteless, odourless and clean in appearance is top priority in any country that cares for good health and poverty alleviation towards sustainable development. Consumers cannot by themselves ascertain the quality of drinking water.
Naturally, water that appears murky, discoloured, smelly or with unpleasant taste would be treated by these opportunists but not with grave suspicion from the consumers. Regulation of packaged water is therefore a government intervention in the private water sector for the sake of public health as it assures quality in the production and packaging of water. This is where National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) comes into to safeguard the health of the nation by ensuring access to only safe and good quality packaged water to the public since majority of the people in the country patronize and drink sachet water.
Consequently, sachet water is a flourishing business in Afikpo and many people are lured into this business for getting easy returns on investment. It is the major supply of anything close to clean drinkable water. There are over ten brands of sachet water available in the area at the time of this study, water firms like A-Zed, Roval, GIP, Jokwa, Polyunwana, E and E, Chibeeb table water and so on. Although quite a large chunks are produced in nearby areas like Okigwe, Okposi, Onueke, Abakaliki and Enugu and the number is increasing on daily basis.
Sachet water is usually manufactured and marketed by small medium scale industries with registered name and supposed to have been prepared under Government stipulated hygienic quality regulation. According to the specification, the water is passed through a series of sand and activated carbon or suitable filtering media and Millipore or equivalent filters of specific pore size, and disinfected using ultra-violet radiation for a specific period. They are packaged in 50cl or 60cl nylon/plastic film sachets and sealed by a sachets packaging machine. They are put in larger sacks in dozen and transported to various distribution points in open pick-up vehicles. The selling price is N10 per sachet. They are popular at social gathering and public places and are hawked along the streets. They have affected the economy of Nigeria positively through job creation, thereby alleviating poverty and boosting the standard of living of average Nigerians.
These sachet water firms produce good quality water with the sole aim of wining the greater market share. Therefore, the heart of this research is to grade the sachet water firms in terms of their volume of sales (patronage) and to know the changes in demand over time. All these bring to the fore the need to study the patronage of Global packaged water.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Sachet water business is now a competitive one due to the continuous increase in the rate of consumption. There is need to know the sachet water firm that has the greater share of the market.
The demand for sachet water changes; the need to look at changes in demand over time on patronage therefore arises.
Also, the researcher needs to ascertain the authenticity of the claim that A-Zed water is of a better quality brand than any other in Afikpo.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Specifically, the research aims to achieve the following objectives:
- To know the company or firm that has the highest patronage in term of volume and value of sales.
- To ascertain whether there is change in demand over time.
- To make necessary recommendation based on the findings from the study for further research.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Now that the sachet water business is seemingly flourishing with many sachet water firms, the relative market shares of these firms have been left to mere conjecture. The following research questions therefore arise
Is the level of patronage of the sachet water firms the same?
Is there change in demand over time?
1.4 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
Based on the above research questions, the following hypothesis will be formulated and tested:
H0: µ1 = µ2 = µ3 (the average sales of the sachet water firms are
H1: µ1 ≠ µ2 ≠ µ2 (the average sales of the sachet water firms are
not the same)
H0: There is no change in demand over time
H1: There is change in demand over time.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
- The study will help a sachet water firm to know when to increase or decrease its production.
- It will also be of benefit to the government. The findings of this study will help the government formulate good policies in respect to packaged water industries in Nigeria.
- Individual water firms will know the level of their reputation (goodwill) gained among her consumers.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
To carryout a research into a whole area like Nigeria will be burdensome and so due to financial and time constraints, the research is limited to A-Zed, Roval and Jokwa sachet water firms in Afikpo Ebonyi State. This is to enable the researcher have an effective and accurate result in the area of data collection.