Benefits of Improved Weather Information and Warnings in Mozambique

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Room C108 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jeffrey K. Lazo, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and L. Croneborg, M. Wishart, E. Foster-Moore, and C. M. Chilemba

Located on the south-east coast of Africa, Mozambique experiences some of the region's most variable weather and water resources conditions including river and flash flooding, cyclones, drought, heat, and severe thunderstorms and lightning killing about 100 people a year. Mozambique is at significant risk from these water and weather related hazards with as much as 58% of the population estimated to be exposed to two or more hazards. Facing these challenges The World Bank is working with the Mozambican national weather service (INAM – Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia) and hydrological services (DNA – Direcção Nacional de Águas and ARAs – Administrações Regionais de Águas) on a program to strengthen and optimize the physical meteorological monitoring networks, improve data management and quality control, and enhance modeling and early warning systems amongst other improvements.

As part of this World Bank project, we undertook a socio-economic assessment of the benefits and costs of the project as well as preferences and needs for hydrometeorological products and services. In this talk, we discuss a survey eliciting preferences and values to households for improved hydro-meteorological information under the World Bank program. In mid-2013, 576 members of the general public were interviewed in 11 locations across Mozambique.

Non-market valuation methods were implemented to elicit benefits to households for potentially improved forecasts and warnings. These methods included a discrete choice experiment and a contingent valuation question. A multivariate analysis examines WTP as a function of income and other socio-demographic measures. Given that a significant portion of Mozambicans are subsistence farmers with no monetary income, we focus closely on the relation between income and WTP to test for internal validity and to consider potential distributional issues in societal benefits of improved warnings. We further examine WTP as a function of individuals' experience with weather impacts; perceptions of their weather vulnerability; perceptions of forecast quality; concern and awareness of weather impacts; sources, uses, and importance of weather information. Integrating advanced approaches to non-market values, the analysis includes individuals' responses to follow-up questions designed to identify scenario rejection and altruistic motivations for WTP.

Results from this study are incorporated into a benefit cost analysis of the World Bank program and may serve as a World Meteorological Organization demonstration project for undertaking economic studies of national meteorological and hydrological services (NHMS) in less developed countries. Such studies can provide critical policy support for improving programs as well as guidance to NMHS on optimal investments to meet end-user needs and preferences.