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Improving water supply for low income communities in Lusaka

As one of the fastest-growing cities in Southern Africa, the Zambian capital Lusaka faces numerous threats to its water security. This is especially the case for low-income areas, where mere access to water remains a challenge. One such area is George Compound, a peri-urban community of 200,000 residents located in the Western part of Lusaka. Many residents fetch their water at public kiosks, serviced by the local utility company’s wellfields. However, some residents still fetch it from contaminated or heavily polluted shallow wells.

To address this problem, the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) implemented a water supply improvement project in George compound and the surrounding industrial area. The project was financed by Zambian Breweries (ZB) at a cost of 150,000$. It involved the drilling of a borehole and the installation of a 3.4km pipeline to George compound.

pipeline for improved water security
The commissioned pipeline
Copyright: LWSC and ZB

Over 40,000 community members will benefit from this collective action, implemented under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) partnership. Additionally, it will also serve as a COVID-19 prevention measure, as it provides reliable access to water and hence makes e.g. regular hand-washing possible.

The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Honorable Rapheal Nakachinda, commissioned the project infrastructure on March 19th, 2021. NatuReS Zambia as partners of LuWSI facilitate and promote such collective action in order to manage natural resources for sustainable growth and better livelihoods.

people inaugurating the new pipeline
Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Rapheal Nakachinda, inaugurating the new pipeline
Copyright: LWSC and ZB

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor, Zambia

The Launch of the “Safe Back to School Campaign”

A pupil utilizing one of the foot operated hand washing station given to schools
Copyright: GIZ

Zambia, like many other countries, has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken measures to mitigate the risks of the virus. In education, schools were closed to curb the spread of the virus but were reopened after two months.

In Zambia and its capital Lusaka in particular, the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily increasing. This poses a threat to the lives of both pupils and teachers. In response, the local municipality, Lusaka City Council (LCC), launched the “Safe Back to School Campaign” on 21 September 2020.

The campaign aims to support a safe reopening of all schools in Lusaka by taking action to contain the spread of COVID-19 in schools. By ensuring that students wear face masks and practice good personal hygiene, especially washing their hands with soap and water and regular use of hand sanitisers, both teachers and learners are protected. This will also help to protect surrounding communities.

Forty-two schools in Lusaka were selected. During the launch, schools were given facemasks, hand sanitisers and handwashing stations. The availability, provision and access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in schools are an essential defence against COVID-19.

Handwashing demonstration at the launch of the ” Safe Back to School Campaign”
Copyright: GIZ

The Safe Back to School Campaign is part of the Green Schools Partnership Program (GSPP) led by LCC and implemented under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) of that NatuReS Zambia is a partner.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor, Zambia