n Journal of Strategic Studies : A Journal of the Southern Bureau of Strategic Studies Trust - Household demand for improved water supply services in high density urban areas : the case of Mabvuku in Harare

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Improving the quality, reliability and adequacy of water services is very important for both the rural and urban development of Zimbabwe. Most of the effort towards water improvements by both the government and non-governmental organizations has mainly been focusing of the supply side of water, thus ignoring the demand aspects. This paper attempts to incorporate demand side aspects in the water supply management system of the City of Harare. The paper analyses and estimates the willingness to pay for improved water supply services in Mabvuku, a high density area in Harare. The paper utilizes cross sectional data from a sample of 147 households collected using self administered questionnaires. A single dichotomous choice contingent valuation technique is used to elicit households' willingness to pay for improved water quality. Probit model estimation is used and the results from the regression show that the mean willingness to pay was US$8.58 per month. The factors affecting willingness to pay are household income, knowledge about on-going rehabilitation programmes, household size, age, previous infection and education. Perception about the current water quality and the bid price had a negative influence on willingness to pay for improved water supply services. The study recommends the establishment of a water development charge of not less than $8.58 per month, raising awareness about on-going water rehabilitation programs, a review of the school curriculum to include water sessions, among other measures.


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