Calculating the value of time spent collecting water: Some estimates for Ukunda, Kenya

Peer Reviewed

his article presents two procedures for estimating the value of time spent hauling water in developing countries. Both approaches are used to derive estimates of the value of time for households in Ukunda, Kenya.

The results indicate that households in this village place a surprisingly high value on the time they spend collecting water, a value approximately equivalent to the wage rate for unskilled labor. These findings suggest that the economic benefits of improved water services in developing countries may be much greater than is commonly realized.


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Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Whittington D., Mu X. & Roche R. (1990). Calculating the Value of Time Spent Collecting Water: Some estimates for Ukunda, Kenya. World Development, 18, 2, 269-280.

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Publication | 11 June 1999