Traditional beliefs and willingness to pay for improving a mining-polluted river in Ghana

Peer Reviewed
1 December 2023

Lilian Arthur, Godwin Kofi Vondolia, Isaac Dasmani

Pollution of water resources is a widespread challenge across the globe which requires effective policy measures. However, in many instances, state institutions are weak in addressing these problems. One then wonders what alternative management regimes can be used in place of public policies. This study examined the willingness to pay (WTP) for the improvement of the Ankobra River, a mining-polluted river in the Western Region of Ghana, using the contingent valuation method. Primary data was collected from 611 respondents from 8 communities in the PresteaHuni Valley Municipality and were analysed using probit and interval regression models. The findings suggest that respondents were concerned about the current polluted state of the Ankobra River and traditional beliefs regarding the spiritual value of the river were still very relevant to them. Consequently, respondents with the belief that the river is an abode of gods as well as natives who believe that Ankobra River is a god were more likely to pay for the improvement of its water quality. Surprisingly, respondents who believed that the river is a god had a lower WTP. Income, natives, existence value, secondary and tertiary education also had positive significant association with WTP, older respondents were less likely to pay while respondents with bigger household sizes, and the divorced had lower WTP. The estimated mean WTP for water quality improvement of the Ankobra River is GHC 51.52 ($6.62) per annum. Local community involvement in policy decision-making regarding water resources is key.


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Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Arthur, L., Vondolia, G. K., & Dasmani, I. (2023). Traditional beliefs and willingness to pay for improving a mining-polluted river in Ghana. Heliyon, 9(12), e22638.
Publication | 26 January 2024