News & events


Willingness to Pay for Water Connections in Poor Urban Communities::Lessons from Windhoek, Namibia

02 June 2015
12:30 - 13:30


Dr Selma Karuaihe

Date:  Tuesday, 2 June   


Time: 12:30  – 13:300


Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban


The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

The study uses contingent valuation techniques (CVM) to estimate the demand for private water connections in the informal sector of Windhoek, Namibia. Water scarcity in Namibia is a major challenge to economic development with the country classified as “water stressed”, based on its per capita water availability which is below the threshold of 1,000-1,666 m3/person/annum. It is therefore, necessary for all stakeholders including water consumers to play a role towards water conservation.

While government made significant efforts progress in managing water at the supply side, an annual rainfall between 26 and 770 millimeters (mm) limits the capacity of this supply-side approach to continue sustainably. As a result, policy efforts have increasingly turned towards demand management approaches. Although the per capita water consumption is relatively low for the unconnected households (e.g. common pool water users), generally they do not pay for water on the basis of quantity consumed.  Instead they pay as members of a group accessing a communal water point, and are charged a monthly fixed fee determined by the group. Therefore, price, which is often used as a conservation policy tool, does not have a direct impact on the amount of water they consume. The findings show that on average, unconnected water consumers are willing to pay about N$58.00 in addition to their monthly water charge to get water connected to their homes. Variables, such as income, contributions towards land payment, the number of people in a household and the distance walked to the water point have positive impacts on the households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for water connections.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town or Durban

RSVP by 1 June
Cape Town: Carmen August (021) 466 7827,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria