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Author: s.mutafya

Dance4WASH – Bringing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) habits to life through dance in Zambia

“Let’s dance our way to a cleaner world!” This and many other catchy slogans defined the “WATERPROOF PROJECT”. In this project, rhythm meets hygiene in a captivating way, designed to raise awareness about the importance of water sanitation and hygiene across schools in Lusaka.

The “WATERPROOF PROJECT”, also known as “Dance4WASH Zambia”, is an awareness-raising campaign conducted from 5th to 23rd June 2023 as part of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI). Viva con Agua provided financial support for the campaign, which took place in five selected schools across Lusaka: Chibolya Combined School, Lilayi Secondary School, Fight Poverty Community School, Mtendere Primary School and Chainama Special School. The campaign aims to promote proper WASH practices and facilitates improved access to WASH information, with a particular emphasis on handwashing, using dance as a tool for awareness-raising.

Learners from Chainama Special School learning the "WASHIT" song
Learners from Chainama Special School learning the “WASHIT” song. Copyright: LuWSI

The campaign was launched during a LuWSI Child Focus Session at the 11th Zambia Water Forum and Exhibition held at Mulungunshi Conference Centre on 13th June. The session was attended by Hon. Mike Mposha, the Zambian Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, who urged all stakeholders to engage with communities to promote hygiene messages. Hon. Mposha also emphasised the need to improve water supply and sanitation in schools, as water is the first line of defence against diseases.

The project received support from key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education and the Lusaka District Health Office, as well as LuWSI partners such as CaDev-Capacity Development, Lusaka City Council, WaterAid Zambia, the Centre for Water, Sanitation and Rehabilitation (WASARec) and NatuReS.

Click here to watch Ndine Emma explain the making-off of the song. Copyrigh: Dance4WASH

To drum up support and interest among children, the campaign worked with local singer/songwriter sensation “Ndine Emma” to develop an infectious and lively beat that children could easily grove to. His involvement also made him a significant promoter of the hygiene message through dance. Furthermore, the campaign partnered with the local dance crew, Afro Fusion, to bring the song to life. The dance crew collaborated with students in schools to craft a choreography, which they then performed to their peers during the school assembly. This helped convey the handwashing message of “dancing your way to a healthier future”.

Ndine Emma promoting hygiene with his hit song "WASHIT" Copyright: LuWSI 2023
Ndine Emma promoting hygiene with his hit song “WASHIT”. Copyright: LuWSI

Pupils and teachers enjoyed the innovative campaign, with kids taking up the challenge to interpret the song and dance moves in their own unique way. The campaign’s success and inspiration was based on the collaboration between partners on the LuWSI platform, particularly under the Green Schools partnership programme. LuWSI partners continue to foster multi-stakeholder cooperation to promote water, sanitation and hygiene which will contribute to the water security of the city.

Click here to see a pupil demonstrating his Dance4WASH skills!

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

A New Impetus for Water Stewardship: The Evolution and Governance of LuWSI’s Multistakeholder Partnership

The LuWSI Case Study Workshop

Collaborating for Change: The Organizational Structure of LuWSI

LuWSI is a multistakeholder collaboration platform that brings together public sector, private sector, civil society, and development organizations to work towards achieving water security for the residents and businesses of Lusaka. The partnership engages in dialogue, leadership, analysis, knowledge generation, advocacy, and awareness-raising to plan and develop projects for a healthy and prosperous city of Lusaka.

Official Launch and MoU Signing Ceremony of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative

Growing Together: The Evolution and Governance of LuWSI’s Multistakeholder Partnership

With support from GIZ’s International Water Stewardship Programme (now NatuReS) in 2016, LuWSI has grown from 16 to over 33 partners who collaborate through the platform. LuWSI partners are bound by an MOU signed by the leadership of each organization. The partnership is governed by a Steering Board responsible for overall decision-making. The Technical Committees are responsible for knowledge, advocacy, projects, collaboration, resourcing, and membership. LuWSI’s administrative body is the secretariat, which coordinates the day-to-day affairs of the partnership. The secretariat has two full-time staff and has been housed at the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) since 2018, one of the founding partners of LuWSI.

Importance of Formalizing the Partnership

LuWSI is a novel multistakeholder partnership for natural resources stewardship in Lusaka. Formalization is vital for its functionality and sustainability. It establishes the partnership as a legal entity, inspiring confidence and conferring legitimacy. Formalization also enables the partnership to manage funds and provide job security for its employees.

Voices of Water Stewardship: LuWSI Partners Share Their Perspectives

The Journey Towards Formalization

In 2017, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) supported a study to assess various options for formalizing the LuWSI partnership. The study evaluated formalization as a trust, a private company limited by shares, a private company limited by guarantee, an association, a non-governmental organization, and a water users association. After careful evaluation, the most viable option was to legalize the partnership as a company limited by guarantee. However, private sector companies and government institutions expressed skepticism, as it was not yet clear what the legal and administrative implications were for each organization that had joined the partnership at that time.

The partnership initially postponed the decision until 2021. In that year, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC), Zambian Breweries (ZB), and Coca-Cola Beverages Zambia (CCBZ) renewed their efforts to formalize the partnership. These institutions conducted a detailed legal analysis with implications, which alleviated concerns about formalizing the partnership as a company limited by guarantee. This option was deemed the most suitable for LuWSI, as it would enable the partnership to subsist as a well-defined independent legal entity that operates in the best interests of its objectives. It entails stringent fiduciary reporting requirements that are beneficial for accountability, is tax exempt, allows for ease of entry and exit of new members without property transfer, and is not affected by changes in membership, guarantors, and directors. The LuWSI Steering Board reached consensus on this option, and the LuWSI secretariat began registration formalities, resulting in the formalization of the partnership in December 2022.

What Next?

With this new impetus and momentum, the partnership is actively seeking to increase resource mobilization to ensure the functionality of the secretariat and effective coordination of stakeholder engagements and projects. A Partnership wide workshop is scheduled for May 2023 to discuss the prioritisation of activities for the year and resourcing strategies.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

“Fit for School” learning event: Fostering exchange between Africa and Asia

The regional learning event participants pose for a group photo. Copyright: GIZ

The “Fit for School” programme, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), aims at improving pupils’ access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The programme held its regional conference 2022 on 22nd – 24th November in Bangkok, Thailand. The main goal of the event was to consolidate the wealth of learning gleaned from the last eleven years of implementation, while providing partners with a forum to explore ideas for regional and global collaboration on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools and related emerging thematic areas.”

“Fit For School” has supported Ministries of Education in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos in their rollout of national policies, implementing guidelines, and monitoring systems for WASH in schools since 2011. Since 2021, the “Fit for School Africa Initiative” has extended this support to different African countries, adapting the successful approach to the respective contexts on the ground. Among others, the programme has extended its support to Zambia by supporting the implementation of Phase 4 of the Safe Back to School campaign under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative(LuWSI).

A delegation from Zambia, including the Town Clerk for Lusaka City Council, the District Education Board Secretary, the program manager from Water Aid Zambia and an advisor from GIZ NatuReS attended the conference. Also in attendance were representatives from Malawi, South Sudan, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.

The Zambian delegation receiving a certificate of attendance. Copyright: GIZ

The learning event offered an opportunity to foster a stronger exchange between different African and Asian countries facing similar challenges, and to enable them to draw lessons from each other’s experiences and tools. This exchange stimulates and facilitates sustainable scaling-up of “WASH in School” programming in their respective countries.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

World Rivers Day Commemoration and Launch of the Zambezi Source Restoration Project in Zambia

World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It’s a day set aside to highlight and remind us of the value that rivers bring to support life, encouraging improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. The World River’s Day Celebration in Zambia was held on the 26th of September 2022 at the source of the mighty Zambezi River in Ikelenge district, in the Northwestern part of the country. The theme of this year’s celebration was “The importance of Rivers for Biodiversity. “

World Rivers Day Celebrations
World Rivers Day Celebrations.
Copyright: Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation

In the key note speech read on behalf of the Minister of Water, Development and Sanitation, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Ikelenge constituency Hon. Elijah Muchima, highlighted the significant role rivers play for our livelihoods. He bemoaned the degradation of rivers and freshwater ecosystems due to unregulated and overuse of water, pollution, river bank cultivation and deforestation, causing erosion and siltation of river beds. He emphasized the Zambian government’s commitment to champion policy reforms and strengthen leadership in the management of water resources, including the restoration of the Zambezi source landscape.

The Minister of Lands and Natural resources delivering the keynote speech.
Copyright: Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation

In light of this commitment, the Provincial Minister of North-Western Province, Honorable Robert Lihefu MP, launched the Zambezi Source Ecosystem Restoration Project at the same event. The project, which will be implemented in collaboration with WWF, Stanbic Bank, GIZ’s NatuReS Programme, the Forestry Department and the National Heritage Commission, seeks to improve natural resources management in the Zambezi Headwaters area. Partners aim for restoring the ecosystem to a condition representative of the native ecosystem. They will also support alternative livelihoods for the local communities.

The Managing Director and CEO of Stanbic Bank Zambia PLC, Mr. Mwindwa Siakalima, stressed the need to preserve the health of the river and pledged to continue supporting the efforts to restore the ecosystem at the source. Additionally, the Country Director of WWF, Ms. Nachila Nkhombo, urged government to take steps to legally protect the area and commended the traditional leadership for the their support in protecting the Zambezi source.

The celebration ended with a tree planting activity at the Zambezi Source, led by Her Royal Highness, Cheiftainess Ikeleng’i.

Her Royal Highness, Cheiftainess Ikeleng’i leading the tree planting process.
Copyright: Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation

NatuReS is part of the initiative to protect the Zambezi River, as the degradation of the Zambezi River source has the potential to affect everyone, and no single actor can improve water security by working alone. Different capacities are required to prevent water insecurity. Only by partnering across sectors can the Zambezi River be protected in the long run.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia