Using contingent valuation to estimate willingness to pay for improved water source in rural Uganda

Steven G. Wright



This research was conducted in August of 2011 in the villages of Kigisu and Rubona in rural Uganda while the author was serving as a community health volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps. The study used the contingent valuation method (CVM) to estimate the populations’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the operation and maintenance of an improved water source. The survey was administered to 122 households out of 400 in the community, gathering demographic information, health and water behaviors, and using an iterative bidding process to estimate WTP. Households indicated a mean WTP of 286 Ugandan Shillings (UGX) per 20 liters for a public tap and 202 UGX per 20 liters from a private tap. The data were also analyzed using an ordered probit model. It was determined that the number of children in the home, and the distance from the existing source were the primary variables influencing households’ WTP.