B. K. Ireri1, P. M. Makenzi1, S. M. Makindi2, P. A. Minang3 and J.M. Mironga4
1Department of Environmental Science, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, 2Department of Environmental Science, Machakos University, Machakos, Kenya, 3World Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya, 4Department of Geography, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya; Telephone: 0721308373
Corresponding Author: email@example.com
Ecosystem services are biological foundations essential to economic prosperity and development of human beings for example water provision. However, when ecosystems are exploited for human sustenance, they affect water provision intensively. Kapingazi catchment provides various ecosystem services mainly water provision to downstream users including national hydroelectric power stations that contribute to 52.1% of hydro-electric power of Kenya's electricity. Agricultural and industrial activities have changed the ecosystem structure of the catchment leading to fluctuation of water quality and quantity of Kapingazi River. Payment for ecosystem services is one of the approaches which can enhance adoption of sustainable land management practices leading to improved water quality and water quantity in Kapingazi catchment. The aim of this research was therefore to assess the willingness to pay in improved water service provision in Kapingazi catchment in Embu County, Kenya. Household questionnaires, key informants schedules and focus group discussions were used to collect data from households, institutions and stakeholder associations respectively between March and May, 2018. The results showed that 67% of the respondents were willing to pay for improved water services in terms of water quality and water quantity within the catchment. The respondents were willing to pay an average of USD 9.10 per annum in addition to the average water user fee of USD 4.19 per month for improved water services in Kapingazi catchment. Logistic regression analysis revealed that age (p=0.005), education (p=0.025) and household size (p=0.05) were the factors influencing respondents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for improved water service in the study area. Positive WTP for improved water service provision shows the need for improved water service provision in Kapingazi catchment. Thus, decision makers should create enabling policy for implementation of payment for ecosystem services (PES) programme for improved of water services provision in Kapingazi catchment.
Keywords: Catchment, ecosystem, ecosystem services, water, willingness to pay