Farmers’ willingness to contribute to the restoration of an Ethiopian Rift Valley lake: a contingent valuation study

Haileyesus Girma*, J.J.A. Hugé, Mesfin Gebrehiwot, Steven Van Passel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Lakes provide considerable social, economic, and ecological benefits. However, lakes are shrinking and the water quality is declining, due to human pressures such as water withdrawal and land use change, particularly in the developing world. Despite this, information regarding the economic impact of lake level reduction and local willingness to support restoration programs is lacking. This study employed a contingent valuation method to estimate willingness to pay and to contribute labor to Lake Ziway restoration program, Ethiopia. Face-to-face interviews were administered to 259 randomly selected respondents. Our findings revealed that about one-third of the respondents are willing to pay and about two-third are willing to contribute labor to restore the lake. From the interval regression models, the annual mean willingness to pay was estimated about 21.0 USD for the status quo scenario (the program works to keep water levels constant at current levels) and 31.1 USD for the improvement scenario (the program works to increase the water levels permanently). The annual mean willingness to contribute labor was estimated about 27.7 man-days for the status quo and 39.3 man-days for the improvement scenarios. ‘Farm income’ positively influenced the willingness to pay together with ‘farm plot area.’ Similarly, labor contribution was positively influenced by ‘farm plot area’ and ‘education’ and negatively by ‘farm plot distance.’ The economic values derived from this study reflect societal preferences and can form a significant input for policymakers, in support of informed and evidence-based decision-making regarding lake management and restoration in developing countries like Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10646-10665
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Ethiopia
  • Lake Ziway
  • contingent valuation
  • ecosystem services
  • willingness to pay
  • Willingness to contribute labor
  • Ecosystem services
  • Willingness to pay
  • Contingent valuation


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