Contingent Valuation in Community-Based Project Planning: The Case of Lake Bamendjim Fishery Restocking in Cameroon
The study examined the usefulness and relevance of the contingent valuation method (CVM) in community-based (CB) project planning and implementation. To elicit willingness to pay (WTP) values for the restocking of Lake Bamendjim with Tilapia nilotica and Heterotis niloticus fish species, the study used pre-tested questionnaires interviewer-administered to 1,000 randomly selected households in the Bambalang Region of Cameroon.The datawere elicitedwith the conventional referendumdesign and analysed using a referendum model. Empirical findings indicated that about 85% of the sampled households were willing to pay about CFAF1,054 (US$2.1) for the restocking project. This amount was found to be significantly related to the starting price used in the referendum design, household income, the gender of the respondent, the age of the respondent, household poverty status, and previous participation of a household in a community development project.The findings prompted the following recommendations. Firstly, in order to reduce community burden due to cash constraints, it is advisable for the mean estimate obtained for the scheme to be split into four instalments over a year. Secondly, since the success of the scheme largely depends on the governing roles of the scheme, it is further advisable for the community to allowthemanagement of the scheme to be handled by the elderly community members. Finally, it will be important during the financing of the scheme, to levy wealthier household heads an amount sufficient to subsidize poorer household heads who cannot afford to pay the threshold price.
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