Lack of financial resources and public participation are major factors that constrain solid waste management in many towns in developing countries. This study sought to determine the willingness to pay (WTP) and the perception of the inhabitants of Mamfe, Cameroon for an improved solid waste management system. A total of 371 households were interviewed and data analysis to identify the determinants of WTP values was performed using multiple regression models (Probit and Tobit) and Contingent Valuation Method. Approximately 95.1% of the residents were concerned with the problems of solid waste management. 51.5% were satisfied with the present environmental conditions; with 74.5% of the opinion that water pollution caused by poor waste disposal presented the most serious environmental problem. Most of the respondents (85.1%) showed a positive attitude towards WTP for an improved solid waste management system. The monthly mean WTP was 1000FCFA ($1.73) per household and the annual WTP was approximately 180 million FCFA for the entire town. Regression analysis revealed that age, employment type, gender and income of the respondent have a significant relationship with willingness to pay at p<0.05. The trend of WTP and income variables (income and type of employment) was negative and significant implying that this payment could be afforded by a cross section (low, middle and high-income levels) of the population.
Key words: Cameroon, contingent valuation method, household, perception, solid waste management, willingness to pay.
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