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Cost recovery strategy for rural water delivery in Nigeria


  • Whittington, Dale
  • Okorafor, Apia
  • Okore, Augustine
  • McPhail, Alexander


What economic and political factors have made cost recovery for rural water systems so difficult in the Nsuuka district of Anambra State? This paper found that households in the region do not want to pay for water in advance or commit themselves to a fixed monthly payment for water. They want the freedom to buy water only when they use it - partly because they do not want to buy water in the rainy season and partly because they want control of their cash flow in the event of more pressing needs. Equally important, they do not trust the government to provide a reliable public water supply. If required to pay a fixed fee every month, households are willing to pay only relatively small amounts for improved services. Current arrangements for cost recovery - fixed monthly fees for both public taps and unmetered private connections - are inappropriate. Kiosk systems or kiosk systems with metered private connections for some households are the most promising way to improve cost recovery and meet consumers's cash flow needs. Kiosk systems can provide less expensive, more reliable, and better quality water than water vendors do. It is not yet possible to generalize these results to other parts of Nigeria or other developing countries, but the advantages are likely to be equally valid in many other places.

Suggested Citation

  • Whittington, Dale & Okorafor, Apia & Okore, Augustine & McPhail, Alexander, 1990. "Cost recovery strategy for rural water delivery in Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 369, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:369

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kyu Sik Lee & Anas, Alex, 1989. "Manufacturers'responses to infrastructure deficiencies in Nigeria : private alternatives and policy options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 325, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. William Fox & Kelly Edmiston, 2000. "User Charge Financing of Urban Public Services in Africa," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0004, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.


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