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Building a Water Secure Future: Highlights from the NRAF Workshop with LuWSI Partners

An intensive three-day training workshop was held for Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) partners from the 22nd to the 24th of May at Twangale Park in Lusaka. This diverse group of participants, spanning public, private sectors, and civil society, gathered to deepen their understanding of the Natural Resources Risk and Action Framework (NRAF), a cornerstone of GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship (NatuReS) programme and a comprehensive approach to multi-stakeholder partnership development.

The primary objective of the workshop was to equip LuWSI partners with a deep understanding of the NRAF partnership development process and its various components.Through a series of interactive sessions, discussions, and hands-on activities participants were provided with practical insights on how the NRAF framework can be applied to establish new multi-stakeholder partnerships or strengthen existing ones such as LuWSI. The goal of these partnerships is to sustainably safeguard natural resources.

The training was tailored to address the unique needs and challenges faced by multi-stakeholder partnerships such as LuWSI, ensuring a relevant and impactful learning experience.

Comprehensive Understanding of NRAF

Participants were introduced to the foundational principles of the NRAF, exploring its theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. The framework emphasizes a collaborative approach to managing natural resources, integrating diverse stakeholder perspectives to address complex environmental challenges effectively.

Group Work Copyright@GIZ

Practical Application Sessions

A significant portion of the workshop was dedicated to hands-on sessions where participants practiced applying NRAF principles and tools to real-world scenarios. These practical sessions were particularly well-received, allowing attendees to translate theoretical knowledge into actionable strategies. By working through selected scenarios, participants gained valuable insights into the intricacies of partnership development and resource management.

Group Work Copyright@GIZ

Collective Leadership and Shared Experiences

Another key component of the workshop was the focus on collective leadership. Participants engaged in sessions that highlighted the importance of collaborative leadership in driving successful partnerships. These sessions were also enriched by experiences and case studies from other NatuReS countries and partnerships, providing a broader perspective on the application of NRAF in diverse contexts.

Participant Feedback

The training workshop was met with enthusiastic feedback from participants, who appreciated the comprehensive and practical nature of the sessions. The opportunity to delve into the NRAF elements and practice their application was highlighted as a standout feature of the workshop. Additionally, the collective leadership session and the sharing of experiences from other NatuReS initiatives were praised for their relevance and inspiration.

By providing a thorough understanding of the NRAF and facilitating practical application, the workshop has empowered participants to contribute more effectively to the stewardship of natural resources in Lusaka and Zambia. This collaborative effort underscores the critical importance of integrated, multi-sectoral approaches in addressing water security and other environmental challenges related to natural resources.

Celebrating the wins in water stewardship

In a remarkable celebration of commitment to water stewardship, the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) has awarded the prestigious 2023 Water Stewardship Award to North Western Water Supply & Sanitation Company Limited. This accolade was presented during the esteemed National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) 2023 Sector Report launch at the Mulungushi International Conference Center on 12th April 2024.

North Western Water Supply & Sanitation Company receiving their award from the Minister of Water Development and Sanitation. Copyright LuWSI

The award shines a spotlight on the company’s exemplary efforts in water stewardship, highlighting their significant contributions. These efforts are not just confined to their immediate catchment area but extend beyond, setting a benchmark for others in the industry.

A rigorous evaluation process, conducted by LuWSI partners such as World Wide Fund for Nature (WFF), GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship (NatuReS) Programme, National Water Supply and Sanitation Company (NWASCO) and the LuWSI secretariat underpinned the selection of the winner. The criteria encompassed a range of indicators from documentation of commitment to ecosystem protection, pollution prevention, energy efficiency and active participation in catchment governance.

Utility evaluation exercise at Nkana Water Supply and Sanitation Company
Utility evaluation exercise at Nkana Water Supply and Sanitation Company. Copyright GIZ

This recognition underscores the vital role commercial utilities play in water and environmental stewardship, transcending traditional sector boundaries. As Mr. Curtis Muleya, a key figure in the development of the stewardship awards, aptly noted, “Commercial Utilities, though not explicitly mandated to engage in ecological matters, are inherently linked to the environment as the primary source of water.”

Initiated in January 2018, the Water Stewardship Award aims to foster, acknowledge, and encourage exemplary water stewardship practices among utilities and companies in Zambia. It serves as a beacon of inspiration, urging corporations to prioritize sustainability and responsible resource management.

As we share this news, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of water stewardship and commend those leading the way in safeguarding our planet’s most precious resource. Congratulations to North Western Water Supply & Sanitation Company Limited for setting a stellar example for all!

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

Empowering Young Learners: The Success of the Young WASH Voice Campaign and WASH Hackathon in Lusaka 

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental elements of sustainable development and are critical for the health and well-being of individuals and communities. However, many children, teachers, and pupils still face challenges related to inadequate WASH facilities in their schools and communities. The lack of safe water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene facilities leads to poor health, absenteeism, and a compromised learning environment.

The Centre for Water, Sanitation and Rehabilitation (WASAReC) and the Chevening Alumni Association of Zambia (CAAZ) organized a WASH hackathon competition on 24th February 2023. The participating schools are part of the Green Schools Partnership Program (GSPP), an initiative implemented under the  Lusaka Water Security Initiative and supported by GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship (NatuReS) Programme. 

The hackathon was the culmination of the Young WASH Voice Campaign (YWVC), which aimed to build capacity in school-going children aged 10 to 17 years in climate-resilient WASH governance and to provide these young learners with a platform to identify and suggest WASH solutions in their schools and communities.  

Empowering Pupils to Contribute to WASH Solutions in Their Schools 

The campaign recruited 120 pupils from four schools in Lusaka: Chakunkula Combined School, Foxdale Secondary School, Mumana Primary School, and New Ng’ombe Primary School. Before the start of the hackathon, the participants attended guest lectures on climate-resilient and inclusive WASH in schools and communities for four weeks. This was followed by eight weeks of mentoring learners in the problem ideation process and public speaking to support them in identifying WASH problems and their sustainable solutions. Through this process, the learners also got prepared to communicate their ideas to different audiences effectively.  

Learning and problem identification focused on four thematic areas:  

  1. Inclusive sanitation and solid waste management  
  1. Menstrual hygiene management, hygiene promotion, and water security  
  1. Development of a school WASH Handbook covering these topics, games, and the WASH alphabet  
  1. Other materials developed included the WASH Hackathon Workbook, the Hackathon Process pamphlet, and posters.  

Empowering Change: The Key Results and Achievements of the WASH Hackathon 

The learners and teachers were pleased with the training received and had a chance to participate in the hackathon actively. With the lectures and mentorship, the pupils were able to identify their challenges and gain knowledge on WASH stewardship. The campaign equipped 120 learners with climate-resilient and inclusive WASH knowledge to become champions of change in their schools and communities.  

The outcome of the hackathon was the identification of several WASH challenges in each of the four schools. These included the lack of menstrual hygiene management facilities, water shortages in the dry season, unsafe toilets shared between older learners and pre-schoolers, vandalism of water facilities, and poor solid waste management in schools and communities.  

The hackathon provided an opportunity for learners to actively participate in identifying WASH challenges in their schools and communities and propose sustainable solutions. The documented priority challenges that the learners perceived can serve as a reference for WASH implementers when considering supporting schools in improving WASH service access and stewardship.  

Moreover, the hackathon achieved some results in addressing the identified challenges. Some schools received support to increase water storage capacity to mitigate water shortages, especially during the dry season. Additionally, some schools received support to run water quality tests and received chlorine donations to improve access to safe drinking water.  

The documented challenges can inform WASH implementers in their efforts to improve WASH service access and stewardship in schools and communities.  

Summary of the Achievements:  

  1. 120 learners equipped with climate-resilient and inclusive WASH knowledge for them to save as champions of change in their schools and communities.  
  2. Documented priority challenges as perceived by learners (service users) that WASH implementers can reference as they consider supporting schools in improving WASH service access and stewardship.   
  3. Some schools have already received support to increase water storage capacity to mitigate on water shortages in the school, especially during the dry season.   
  4. Some schools have been supported to run water quality tests and received chlorine donations to improve access to safe drinking water in the school.   

 Feedback from Teachers and Pupils: 

“The way we have been trained is good, but you should also train us in basic skills like how to fix a tap. Also, give sensitizations to all pupils on water security and how to take care of the water facilities so that there is no more vandalism.” Grade 10 pupil, Foxdale Secondary School.  
“I am confident that through this campaign, our learners are prepared to be the young WASH champions in their respective schools and communities. They will be able to champion good practices and be able to speak to be heard on WASH matters.” – Lusaka District Education Board Secretary (DEBS).  

Importance of Partnership: Achieving Significant Results in a Resource-Constrained Environment 

As the Mayor of Lusaka, Her Honour Ms. Chilando Chitangala noted, “Such programs are very good, as they engage children in important matters while they are young. I therefore urge the schools through the District Education Board Secretary to create WASH Clubs where this knowledge gained today may continue to be built up.” The success of the WASH hackathon and YWVC can be attributed to the collaboration and engagement of various partners who supported the initiative financially and by providing the necessary human resources and logistics. This partnership demonstrated the importance of coordination and collaboration, where each partner brought their strengths to the table, to achieve significant results even in a resource-constrained environment. 

Follow-up Activities: Strengthening WASH Provision in Schools and Communities 

The team behind the YWVC and WASH hackathon is already planning a follow-up event where participating schools will implement their suggested solutions. This event will provide an excellent opportunity to continue building on the knowledge gained during the Young WASH Voice Campaign and to further strengthen the partnership between various organizations involved in WASH provision. The team is looking for partners to sponsor this event. 

In conclusion, the WASH hackathon competition and the Young WASH Voice Campaign were highly successful in empowering young learners and building their capacity in climate-resilient WASH governance. The pupils were able to identify their WASH-related challenges and propose feasible solutions, demonstrating the importance of engaging children in important matters while they are young. The success of this initiative can be attributed to the collaboration and engagement of various partners, highlighting the importance of partnerships in achieving significant results even in a resource-constrained environment.