Willingness of People to Pay for Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Services in Jacobabad, Sindh, Pakistan


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Willingness of People to Pay for Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Services in Jacobabad, Sindh, Pakistan

Willingness of People to Pay for Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Services in Jacobabad, Sindh, Pakistan

An interesting study was conducted recently to assess the willingness of people to pay for water, sanitation, and solid waste management services in Jacobabad, Sindh province, Pakistan.

Jacobabad is the medium-sized town in Sindh province, Pakistan, with an estimated population of 275,000. People belong to the lower income group, with less than $. 2 per capita income. The average household size is 9.4 (fairly large!). Diseases like malaria, diarrhea and asthma are common (these are indicative of poor personal and community hygiene; and also that of poor municipal services). On average, people spend Rs. 3,000 (per month) on medical bills.

Generally, the people in villages and small- to medium-sized towns in Sindh are unwilling to pay for the municipal services, for the simple and valid reason that dependable and acceptable-level services are not provided by the municipal authorities. Accordingly, people do not trust the municipal authorities in presuming that they will provide satisfactory services.

Using contingent valuation method, backed by household surveys, focus group contacts and, key informant interviews, the study revealed that:

Drinking Water

• 82% of population use donkey-cart water for drinking;
• 52% of the population is not satisfied with donkey-cart water;
• People pay Rs. 5,000 per month for drinking water;
• 91% of population is not satisfied with existing piped water;
• 72% people prefer piped water; and
• On average, people are willing to pay Rs. 500 per month for safe, potable piped drinking water.

Water for Domestic Use

• 86% use boreholes with hand pumps;
• 10% use piped water connection;
• 65% are not satisfied with water from boleholes;
• People pay Rs. 250 per month, on average, on water for domestic purposes;
• 90% of the population says water for domestic purpose is affordable; and
• 75% of the respondents prefer good quality piped water, with easy access


• 99.5% households have latrine at home;
• Use of communal toilet is low;
• People are willing to spend, on average, Rs. 1,000 to 3,000 for the improvement of constructed latrines; and
• 87% of the respondents are willing to pay Rs. 500 to 1,000 for communal cause (I don’t know what does this mean???)

Drainage (in Sindh, drainage refers to stormwater and household sewage conveyance)

• Drainage pipelines are poorly designed – uneven slope, blockages, overflowing problems;
• 61% of households link with open drainage network (open channels?)
• 50% of respondents are not satisfied with drainage system;
• 79% do not pay for managing sewage;
• 14% pay RS. 50 to 100 (per month) for managing sewage;
• 61% are not willing to pay any money; and
• 36% says, on average, RS. 150 to 250 can be paid (a bit confusing!)

Solid Waste Management

• 95% of respondents dispose off their solid waste by themselves;
• 49% dispose off their waste far from their houses;
• 47% dispose off waste close to their houses;
• 66% of those who dispose off waste near the house, are not satisfied with current arrangements;
• 72% do not pay for solid waste management;
• 95% utilize services of scrap vendors and earn RS. 50 to 100 per month; and
• Hospitals and commercial establishments have no arrangement for solid waste disposal

I reckon, the study gives a good picture of municipal services in Jacobabad, and shows willingness (or, unwillingness) of people to pay for the municipal services. I’m sure that other organizations in developing countries, undertaking similar work, will find the results useful.

The study was conducted by UN-HABITAT (Pakistan), with financial support from USAID and UNICEF.
The study, beyond doubt is recent (2016), though the year is not mentioned.

F H Mughal
Rs. = Pakistani rupees
1 US dollar equals Rs. 104.66 (as of 12 May 2016)
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

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