Affordability and Willingness to Pay for Private Sector Participation in the Provision of Portable Water in Urban Areas of Benue State, Nigeria

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Published on International Journal of Social, Politics & Humanities
ISSN: 2797-3735, Volume 1, Issue 1, page 187 – 194
Publication Date: 18 October 2018

Ogebe, F.O, & Idoko, D.A.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
Department of Agricultural Education, College of Education Oju, Benue State, Makurdi, Nigeria

Journal Full Text PDF: Affordability and Willingness to Pay for Private Sector Participation in the Provision of Portable Water in Urban Areas of Benue State, Nigeria.

The study was conducted to determine the willingness to pay among households for provision of quality drinking water by private sector participation in three urban areas of Benue State, Nigeria. A survey method was used for the study and primary data were collected using well-structured questionnaire. The population of the study consisted of head of households. Random sampling technique was used in selecting 100 households each from the three major towns in Benue State. The study utilized the contingent valuation method to survey the views of the consuming public in order to estimate their willingness to pay in a bid to evaluate a policy of providing better water supply with improved quality and reliability among different socio- economic groups in the urban areas of Benue State, Nigeria. Descriptive and Probit regression model were used to analyze the data. The results showed that the major sources of water supply were hand dug wells (27.33%), private bore holes (23.33%) and water tankers (16.67%). Improved water provision was viewed as a national goal by the households. On the average, household spent N13000 as monthly water bill in the State. Majority (40%) hold the view that private sector participation (PSP) in the water sector would improve water provision. The results of the probit regression model showed that the variables that significantly influenced willingness to pay for water improvement programme (WIP) in the State are household size (P<0.05), income level of household head (P<0.1), private sector involvement (P<0.01) and the level of education of the household head (P<0.1). The study concludes that although the consuming households believe that private sector engagement is likely to improve water quality, the same policy measure will marginalize the poor in terms of access to water. The study therefore, recommended privatization with some social programmes so as to deliver the double dividends of quality and universal access that characterized the debate on private sector engagement in water provision in Nigeria.

Keywords: Probit Model, Willingness to Pay, Contingent Valuation, Nigeria.

1. Introduction
Access to portable water is a fundamental human right and also a big stake in the economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development (World Development Report, 2004). All over the world, there is increased pressure on public water supplies and other utility services as a result of rapid urbanization. Lack of portable water supplies continue to be a major source of human disease and death globally (Sobsey, 2006). The most susceptible to water borne diseases are children, and the elderly, pregnant women and immune-compromised individuals, making water borne diseases one of the five leading causes of death among children under age five (Gerba et al., 1996) Diarrhea diseases, attributed to poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene, accounts for 1.73 million deaths each year and over 54million Disability Adjusted Life Years, a total equivalent to 3.7% of the global burden of disease (WHO, 2003).
In most parts of Africa, universal access to portable water remains a mirage because of the high population growth rates and the lack of funds by the government to provide the necessary facilities to boost water supply. Safe drinking water remains inaccessible for about 1.1 billion people in the world (Mintz et al., 2001). Public water supply is inadequate and in most cases inaccessible, the supply is intermittent and unreliable, thus resulting in high dependency on unsafe supplementary sources such as ponds, wells and streams (Olajire and Imeppeoria, 2001, Nnodu and Ilo, 2002).As population grows and urbanization increases, human activities including indiscriminate refuse and waste disposal, and the use of septic tanks, soak-away pits and pit latrines are on the increase. According to Longe and Balogun (2010), ground water pollution has been attributed to the process of urbanization which has progressively developed over time without any regard to environmental consequences. This eventually results in the deterioration of physical, chemical and biological properties of water (Isikwue et al., 2011).
In Nigeria, the most secure sources of safe drinking water is pipe-borne water from municipal water treatment plants which often do not deliver or fail to meet the requirement of the served communities due largely to lack of maintenance or increased population (Orebiyi et al., 2010). Currently, there is a challenge of lack of supply of pipe-borne water in Benue State, Nigeria and hence households are forced to use unreliable and unsafe sources of water like water vendors, small streams and shallow wells. This is insufficient to supply adequate water for rapid population increase. In Benue State, the water supply is ……….

2. Empirical Model and Method
The study was conducted in three urban areas of Benue State, Makurdi, Nigeria. Namely Makurdi, Otukpo and Gboko. These towns having varying systems of water supply and would help the respondents to correctly react to the use of private sector participation in improving water supply. Benue state lies within the lower river Benue in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Its geographic coordinates are longitudes 70 47 and 100 0E, and latitudes 60 25 and 80 8N. The State shares a common boundary with the Republic of Cameroun to the South East, and occupies a total landmass of 32,518km2 with a population of ……….