Author: s.mutafya

The Safe Back to School Campaign in Lusaka – Close-out of Phase Three

The Green Schools Partnership Programme (GSPP) focuses on improving and enhancing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (“WASH”) in schools within Lusaka. It specifically targets public and community schools in Lusaka’s most vulnerable (peri-urban) communities.

The five key behaviors for good hygiene emphasized under the Green Schools Partnership Program. Copyright: GIZ

The Safe Back to School (SB2S) Campaign is a project implemented under the GSPP as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign supports the implementation of prevention and control measures to enable learners and teachers return to school in a safe environment. This is achieved through improving knowledge of key hygiene behaviours for Covid-19 prevention in schools and surrounding communities, adherence to preventive measures, improving Covid-19 multi-sectoral coordination in Lusaka District and enhancing accountability and reporting mechanisms for targeted schools.

The SB2S campaign has had three phases since 2020, with the most recent phase ending in May 2022. In this third phase alone, 80 schools within Lusaka District have been reached, and 72.000 learners, 2.400 teachers and 400.000 community members have been sensitized and trained in Covid-19 prevention and proper sanitation and hygiene practices. The project also provides handwash facilities, waste bins and hygiene items to schools. For the sustainability of these facilities, local female entrepreneurs have been capacitated to fabricate the necessary handwash stations, improving economic opportunities for their local businesses. Collaborating partners of this project include Lusaka City Council, Lusaka District Education Board, the Zambian Ministry of Health, WaterAid and the University of Zambia (UNZA); all collaborating under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative(LuWSI) partnership.

Metal fabrication training for women to produce the necessary handwashing stations. Copyright: GIZ

To commemorate the success of the third phase of the SB2S campaign, a close-out event was held on the 13th of May 2022 at Mumana Primary School in Lusaka. The event garnered representation from all collaborating partners, including the District Commissioner’s office and the German Embassy. It included lively skits and poems from pupils of the target schools. During the event, the ten best performing schools in terms of WASH practices and facilities, i.e availability and accessability of sanitation and handwash facilities, were awarded with further hand hygiene and environmental cleaning materials. Moreover, the female entrepreneurs received their metal fabrication certification, testifying their capacity to produce the necessary handwashing stations.

Deborah Banda, one of the women trained in metal fabrication, receiving her certificate of successful training completion. Copyright: GIZ

Schools were also given the opportunity to display their environmental and menstrual health management innovations. There was praise and acknowledgement for the dedication and collaboration of partners towards the success of the campaign. Partners also made appeals for the campaign to continue and be extended to all the schools in Lusaka.

Kristin Otto, Deputy Head of Development at the German Embassy in Zambia, giving her speech re-affirming the German government support to improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Zambia and acknowledging the continued need to invest in WASH, especially in schools. Copyright: GIZ
Handwashing demonstration by the Deputy Head of Development at the German Embassy, Kristin Otto, and the Public Health Director from Lusaka City Council, Christopher Mtonga. Copyright: GIZ

NatuReS supports multi-stakeholder partnerships to sustainably manage natural resources and provide direct and effective support to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate its impacts and build more resilient cities and communities.

Empowering women entrepreneurs to mitigate consequences of Covid-19 in Lusaka, Zambia

Metal fabrication training. Copyright: GIZ

Handwashing as one of the most effective protective measures against Covid-19 has received unprecedented attention during the past two years of the pandemic. Twenty women-led community enterprises from low-income communities of Lusaka have therefore been trained and certified in the fabrication of handwash stations. Since many people’s livelihoods, especially women, have been and still are adversely affected by the pandemic, the training empowers the women entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 45 to meet the community’s needs for handwashing stations by offering a Jumbo Hand Wash fabrication and maintenance service while improving economic opportunities for their own local businesses.

The 11-week intensive training process led by technicians from the University of Zambia was completed in May 2022. It was conducted under the Safe back to School (SB2S) Campaign, a project supported under the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) in collaboration with Lusaka City Council, the Zambian Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, WaterAid, the University of Zambia (UNZA) and other partners under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative.

Elizabeth Banda receiving her certification for completion of the training. Copyright: GIZ

The SB2S campaign supports the implementation of prevention and control measures to enable learners and teachers return to school in a safe environment during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is done through improving knowledge of key hygiene behavior for Covid-19 prevention in schools and surrounding communities, improving Covid-19 multi-sectoral coordination in Lusaka District and enhancing accountability and reporting mechanisms. The project also provides handwash facilities, waste bins and hygiene items to schools.

The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) supports multi-stakeholder partnerships to sustainably manage natural resources and provide direct and effective support to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate its impacts and build more resilient cities and communities for future outbreaks of communicable diseases. The NatuReS programme collaborates with partners such as Lusaka City Council, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, WaterAid, UNZA and other partners under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative

Launch of the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report in Lusaka, Zambia

The award ceremony led by the Guest of Honour, Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha.
Copyright: GIZ

Zambia’s National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) launched the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report at Lusaka’s Taj Pamodzi Hotel on 9th April 2022. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha, was the Guest of Honor. The report covers the first-year implementation of NWASCO’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This strategic plan focuses on “leveraging on enhanced enforcement, information communication technology, research and development and innovation to efficiently and effectively regulate water supply and sanitation services” at 11 Zambian water and sanitation commercial utilities (CU) and four private schemes.  

The event included the annual presentation of awards to the utilities demonstrating the strongest performance when it comes to sustainable water management in the sector, including the Water Stewardship Awards, presented by the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) .  

The Water Stewardship Awards were launched in January 2018 to promote sound water resource management by companies. It focuses on water conservation and efficiency in business and industry as a main criteria for evaluation. This year’s winners were the Southern Water and Sanitation Company (SWASCO) in first place followed by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) in second place. See the video below for more information on the importance of water stewardship for all – private companies, public authorities and communities.

The Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) also received six further awards; namely: (1) most improved commercial utility water service; (2) best staff efficiency; (3) best operations and management cost coverage by collection; (4) second place for Water Stewardship; (5) most improved commercial utility; and (6) 2021 CEO of the Year Award for Engineer Jonathan Kampata. 

LWSC and NWASCO are key partners of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI); Lusaka’s lighthouse initiative for water security, which NWASCO hosts. Through collective action and with private companies and utilities becoming water stewards, the country’s vital natural resources can be protected and sustainably managed. The awards acknowledge and encourage the important work utilities and companies are doing in this regard.

Promoting Water Stewardship: The Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI)

The Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) is a multi-stakeholder collaboration system that was initiated from the realization that the complexity of issues threatening Lusaka’s water security could not be addressed by one single actor. Instead, it requires a multi-stakeholder collective action by water managers, water users and those who indirectly influence water security. The partnership, established in 2016, has currently 31 partners, comprising public sector, private sector, civil society and international organizations. They have come together to support a common agenda for “water security for all to support a healthy and prosperous city”.

The video below captures the views and perspectives of LuWSI partners as they describe what water stewardship means to them and why it is vital for the city of Lusaka.

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