Households’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Water Services: A Case of Semi-Urban Households in the Lubombo and Lowveld Regions of Swaziland

N. M. Dlamini


Management of water resources in an equitable manner by water managers has proved to be a demanding task. Therefore, evaluating domestic water demand behaviours produces an underlying basis for water managers to sustainably and efficiently meet the ever increasing demand for water. Using survey data collected from 314 households in the Lowveld and Lubombo regions of Swaziland, this paper uses the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) to determine households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for improved water services. In estimating the parametric mean WTP and its determinants, the paper uses both the bivariate probit model and univariate probit model, respectively. The results show that 67% of the households were willing to pay the initial bid for improved water services. The mean WTP for a 20 litre of water was estimated at E0.47[1]. Probit model results show that household income, education, gender, distance and owning a backyard garden positively influence household WTP. However, age, water quality and the initial bid offered deter households WTP for improved water services. This suggests that socioeconomic factors should be considered when setting domestic water tariffs and designing strategies for improved water supply services.

Keywords: Willingness to Pay (WTP), Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), Swaziland

[1] 1 USD = E13.5 Emalangeni

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