Benefits of Spring Protection and Willingness to Pay for Improved Water Supply in Emuhaya District
Amondo, Emily Injete
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Supply of reliable and safe water is essential for human health and survival, food security, empowernment of women and protection of natural resources. Lack of water impedes economic development, prevents progress towards gender equality and puts people’s health in danger. This study focussed on benefits of water spring protection on the lives of community members and institutions governing the use and management of the protected facility. There was a further assessesment of environmental benefits by the respondents willingness to pay (WTP) and the factors influencing them to pay. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to generate qualitative and empirical data on 200 randomly selected respondents using protected and unprotected springs in Emuhaya District of Vihiga County. Contigent valuation method was used for valuation of environmental benefits. Logit model was adopted to evaluate factors influencing WTP while the benefits and institutions of existing water structures were analyzed using descriptive methods. An independent t-test was also run to determine whether the socioeconomic variables were statistically significant between households with protected springs and those with unprotected springs. The results indicated that lack of cooperation, insufficient funds/poor contributions and lack of frequent meetings were the main challenges hindering major developments towards water supply. These challenges mostly arose in the water user groups. Majority of respondents using protected springs (56.2%) had not received training on the use of the facility. The results also revealed that spring protection had significant benefits in terms of time saving, water quality and sanitation, agriculture, health aspects and social capital. Upto 93% of respondents were willing to pay in order to receive satisfactory spring protection services with a mean WTP of Ksh 111. Regression results showed that source of support, membership to group, farm size and time were significant in explaining the variations in the xii WTP for spring protection at 95% level of confidence. Generally, the maintenance of the springs was still impaired due to lack of information on how to maintain in order to ensure sustainability. This led to a recommendation of further training of the community at large on conservation issues especially at spring site to ensure the resource is used sustainably and conserved for future generation. There was also a need of further studies on impact of time saved due to spring protection on agricultural productivity.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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