Tag: Zambia

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.

Urban Wetland Protection in Lusaka, Zambia

The Natural Valley Wetland is one of Lusaka’s last surviving urban wetlands. Located just ten kilometres from the city’s airport, it is next to both residential and commercially zoned areas including Natural Valley Ltd,  Zambia’s leading bottled water company. The wetland boasts extensive biodiversity, featuring a variety of flora and fauna, including birds such as the egret, blue heron, and Zambia’s national bird, the African fish eagle. 

Natural Valley Wetland
Copyright: GIZ

Due to its physical properties, the Natural Valley Wetland functions as a natural filter and purifier, improving the quality of water emanating from the city’s bombay drains, which flows through the major business and commercial districts of Lusaka before its discharge into the natural water system and percolation into groundwater reserves. By acting as a stormwater conduit and helping to purify wastewater, the wetland plays an important role in the water management of Lusaka.

However, the amount of plastic transported along the drain from the city represents a major challenge. Other threats include the seepage of lubricants and other hazardous liquid waste into the wetland through illegal dumping, more intense wet and dry periods due to climate change, cutting of trees, pilfering of plants, and poaching of native wildlife. By upsetting the natural lifecycle of the wetland’s ecosystem, whether through poaching or pollution, there is a great risk that the wetland will fail to thrive. Not only will this present a biodiversity loss for the area from the standpoint of preserving “green” spaces, but it will also negatively affect the wetland’s ability to keep rainwater during the rainy season, and filter groundwater as it percolates into the aquifer. The degradation poses a serious risk for the wetland’s provision of important ecosystem services.

Plastic waste in the Natural Valley Wetland
Copy right GIZ

In 2013, Natural Valley Ltd., constructed a dam with a capacity of 330,000 cubic metres on their land to better conserve the complex yet delicate state of the wetland, improve water retention during the rains and improve the zone’s capacity to prevent local flooding. The company, though concerned about the huge amounts of plastic waste that accumulates in the wetland, envisions a future where this waste becomes “plastic gold” serving as a resource to be recycled, supporting the improvement of the environment, and creating more prosperous communities

Plastic waste in the Natural Valley Wetland
Copyright: GIZ

NatuReS Zambia is working with Natural Valley and the Local Municipality Lusaka City Council under the LuWSI partnership to explore sustainable solutions to tackle the issues this urban wetland is facing. The goal is to reduce the flood risk, enhance environmental stewardship together with the surrounding communities, conserve the local biodiversity, promote micro-climate regulation, and inspire actors to collaborate in protecting the wider groundwater recharge area from contamination.

The marrying of public and business interests for the protection of groundwater is a vital ingredient in the collective stewardship of natural resources, especially in the conservation of one of Lusaka’s last urban wetlands. 

Zambia's Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP

Strengthening Collaboration: LuWSI CEO Breakfast and partnership signing event in Lusaka

Water crises are one of the major global risks for the coming decade, ranked third to have the strongest impact on economies and societies alike (Global Risks Report, 2020). But what does this mean for businesses in Zambia?

Across much of the country, factories, mines, farms, and industries are noticing how water stress is hitting their bottom lines and jeopardizing their business models. Lusaka is particularly under threat as groundwater becomes more polluted and depleted, and plans are drawn up for the use of water from the Kafue River.

Responding to this, the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) hosted a CEO breakfast on Wednesday, November 24th. This event, supported by NatuReS Zambia and WWF Zambia, brought together industry representatives, the Mayor of Lusaka, Her Worship Ms Chilando Chitangala, and the Guest of Honour, Zambia’s Minister of Water, Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP. They discussed how Lusaka’s water challenges can be addressed to the benefit of the city’s economy and its citizens. The Minister emphasized the importance of water security and the need to ensure the protection of the country’s natural resources.

Zambia's Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP
Zambia’s Minister of Water, Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Mposha MP
Copyright: LuWSI

In the spirit of partnerships as promoted by LuWSI, WWF Zambia and GIZ Zambia’s Water and Energy Cluster signed a relationship agreement as part of the event. The agreement aims to strengthen the cooperation between WWF and GIZ on the protection of Zambia’s natural resources and the implementation of green principles, such as supporting LuWSI to protect and enhance water security in Zambia’s capital. It also offers new prospects for a distinctive relationship between the two parties on the following; 

● Water security: Develop a long term strategy for Lusaka’s water security.

● Private sector engagement: Identify and concretise areas of joint action through a clearly defined strategic plan.

● Project portfolio development: Facilitate the development of bankable projects, nature-based solutions, and city resilience initiatives.

Signing of the relationship agreement between WWF and GIZ
Signing of the relationship agreement between WWF and GIZ
Copyright: LuWSI

The signing of the relationship agreement comes at a time when there is an urgency for increased action towards natural resources management and stewardship, as Zambia’s natural assets are threatened by degradation and extinction. This brings a heightened need for collaborations such as these for collective and impactful action.

community response mechanisms in Zambia

Building Adaptive Capacities in Zambia’s Communities to fight COVID-19

The global Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented threat to humanity. It has gravely toppled life as previously known, evolving from a massive health crisis to an economic and social one with devastating outcomes. While many developing countries like Zambia continue to deploy mechanisms and interventions to try to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic, these have not been enough to offset the pandemic’s impact. The top-down approaches have been disempowering to local grassroots actors with little or no emphasis on building local capacity for sustainable community-driven solutions and outcomes.

Small glimpse into the lives of community leaders and members in vulnerable communities as they narrate their experiences and the effects of Covid-19 on their wellbeing and livelihood. This video was produced by the Zambia Institute of Mass Communications (ZAMCOM) for Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) and Lusaka City Council (LCC) with funding from NatuReS. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.


In seeking to “Build Back Better”, NatuReS Zambia supported the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) in strengthening community voice and action. LuWSI has coordinated activities that aim to promote and strengthen the response to COVID-19 prevention in communities. These efforts led by Lusaka City Council (LCC) in collaboration with Zambia Institute of Mass Communications (ZAMCOM) and Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF) have culminated in the development of a framework for monitoring COVID-19 response activities and capacity building, as well as COVID-19 response plans for five wards in Lusaka. A communication strategy was also developed to build capacity and create networks between journalists and communities for profiling community COVID-19 stories, including a training manual for citizen journalism.

As NatuReS Zambia, we believe in strengthening governance and supporting projects like these for a participatory approach to safeguarding the well-being of all.

Guiding Documents developed to build adaptive capacities in communities
Guiding documents developed to build adaptive capacities in communities.



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NatuReS is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This website’s contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.

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