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Willingness to Pay for WASH - Contingent Valuation Method Study in Jacobabad

study on residents’ willingness to pay for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Sindh Province’s Jacobabad city concludes that people are willing to pay a decent amount for better water services. However, most of the residents are not willing to pay for sanitation services including sewage maintenance and solid waste management.

Jacobabad has seen a tremendous increase in population in recent years creating extra strain on an already overburdened municipal structure. Rundown roads, non-existent solid waste management system, coupled with acute water shortages and lacking sanitation facilities have left the city in need of massive rehabilitation to improve service provision to its residents.

Findings from the study conducted by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) with funding from USAID through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will assist the Sindh Government in taking necessary steps to ensure the effective running of the Municipal Service Development Programme (MSDP) by taking public opinion into account in devising necessary actions through setting tariffs that are favorable to underprivileged Jacobabad residents.

Building Trust within the Community
The study revealed that the municipal would need to ensure a steady supply of clean water in order to build the community’s trust thus encouraging them to pay for the service. It also recommends a base tariff for water charges of PKR 500 or less, and a categorizing of overall charges into three quartiles (depending on income levels) reflecting people’s willingness to pay.

The study further proposes that along with public sector efforts to provide solid waste management services, sensitizing the community on the importance of a clean and healthy environment will encourage people to take responsibility for their own sanitation giving them more ownership in the drive to improve lives in Jacobabad city.

UN-Habitat WASH Officer, Jannat Durrani, affirms that sustainable, efficient and equitable management of WASH services goes hand-in-hand with the need to conduct responsible social mobilization interventions with the public. “Any public service delivery system cannot be successful in isolation, unless the people who are to benefit from such a system feel part of the entire process,” she says.

Collaborative Effort
The study is part of a project that seeks to mobilize communities to improve WASH services in Jacobabad city. It is a collaborative effort between UN-Habitat, UNICEF, WaterAid, the Municipal Services Delivery Program (MSDP) of the Sindh Government and USAID. The project aims to strengthen and support MSDP in its endeavor to improve lives of the people of Sindh by developing and mending the water, sanitation, hygiene, and solid waste management structure. MSDP Program Director Khalid Hyder Shah commended the study stating, “The findings of this study are critical to designing an effective and sustainable municipal services delivery mechanism.”

According to Muhammad Waseem, Chief Secretary in the Sindh Government, improving municipal service delivery is a major challenge for local government institutions. One that requires strategic partnerships like the one with USAID, UNICEF, and UN-Habitat to combat. “Armed with the research findings of the study and its recommendations, we are a step closer to alleviating the concerns of the masses by setting up an effective and modern WASH services structure,” he says.

UNICEF Chief of the Sindh Field Office, Dr. Nargiza Khodjaeva, underscored the important role the project is playing in light of the sustainable development goals that seek to assure universal, equitable, safe and affordable access to drinking water. She highlighted the importance of ensuring water safety concerns as an important step to enhancing people’s willingness to pay for services.

The study establishes appropriate and acceptable user charges for improved water, sanitation, and solid waste management services, and takes into consideration the willingness and ability of people who benefit from these services.

Read the full study: Willingness to Pay for WASH in Jacobabad



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