Tag: Zambia

Social Accountability for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Lusaka, Zambia

WASH Forum in Lusaka’s George Compound hosted by LuWSI and Village Water Zambia

It is estimated that over 70% of people living in informal settlements in Lusaka continue to be disenfranchised when it comes to access to adequate WASH and solid waste management services. Although various interventions to tackle this problem have been implemented, the importance of cooperation within communities and with duty bearers in taking responsibility for these services cannot be underscored. Maintenance, appropriate use and awareness of WASH and solid waste services are key to improve the situation in the long run. In short, communities must develop social accountability for such services. This fosters good governance and ultimately improves WASH services for all.

Access to safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene services is important for the wellbeing of communities.
Copyright: GIZ/Jesper Anhede

To promote this cooperation, a virtual Water Sanitation and Hygiene Forum for social accountability took place on July 29th. The forum was hosted by the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) secretariat, in collaboration with Village Water Zambia (VWZ), a non-governmental organization operating in Zambia and member of LuWSI. VWZ strives to improve access to WASH services in George compound in Lusaka’s Matero Constituency, one of the city’s biggest informal settlements.

WASH Forum for social accountability in Lusaka’s George Compound

The purpose of the forum was twofold: First, to appraise issues around WASH services, solid waste management and drainage problems in George Compound. And second, to get insights into plans for improving the WASH status quo in George from the Members of Parliaments’ (MP) perspective. The forum culminated in a social contract, which was ratified by each of the prospective MPs as well as the people of George compound. In the contract, they assure their commitment to address these issues and implement the discussed plans, once they should be elected in the upcoming general elections.

As NatuReS, we believe in the power of partnership and collaboration for economic growth and mutual accountability to strengthen governance and sustain the wellbeing of vulnerable communities such as in Lusaka’s George Compound.

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Women as water stewards in Zambia

Income diversification for economic wellbeing and ecosystem preservation  

No single actor can improve water security on its own. While water shortages, flooding or degrading water quality affect everyone, solutions can only stem from joint action. Also, water security must envision not only the water source itself, but the whole ecosystem within a catchment. Cardinal to any solution is the role women play in the stewardship of water and other natural resources. This is because women not only take care of the water supply at their homes, do the cooking or the laundry. They are also strongly involved in economic activities like farming or production.  

Water stewardship beyond water supply and sanitation

The Chambeshi Water Security Partnership promotes the participation of women in water stewardship further than water supply and sanitation in their homes. Instead, the partnership supports women in participating more strongly in the governing of their natural resources. It enables them to progress in diverse economic activities such as beekeeping, aquaculture, agriculture, tree planting and selling seedlings.

Beekeeping instead of charcoal production

Diversified income opportunities make them less dependent on traditional practices like charcoal production, which damages the forest and the whole ecosystem, thereby affecting water quality and quantity in the catchment. Charcoal production, by damaging the ecosystem on which people make a living in the catchment, would also not sustainably generate income for the women in the long run. 

Sara Chisha and Joan Sampa set up a beehive in a forest within the Chambeshi Catchment.
Copyright: GIZ

Instead, Sara Chisha and Joan Sampa are now setting up beehives in the forest. Selling honey is a new economic activity for them as they previously made a living producing charcoal. By finding alternative sources of income that preserve the health of the forest, also their economic wellbeing is safeguarded.  

Sarah and Joan haven’t achieved this alone. Joint action from various actors of the Chambeshi Water Security Partnership, supported by NatuReS, set the scene for this change process. Activities carried out by the partnership include trainings of community members on beekeeping, financing of beekeeping equipment and the establishment of the Twatampako Women’s Club, created to support women in commercializing their products. 

Women maintaining furrows of the Milundu stream, which are used for the irrigation of various crops that sustain the people of Lukupa Village. The stream passes through three villages with a total population of 3908 inhabitants.
Copyright: GIZ

These activities highlight that women’s management of natural resources goes far beyond collection and use of water at their homes, revealing them as agents of change in the governance and protection of natural resources. 

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Better WASH services in schools: Menstrual Hygiene Day and COVID-19

Handwashing demonstration by the District Commissioner of Lusaka
Copyright: NatuReS Zambia

Lack of access to proper menstrual hygiene services such as hand washing facilities can be an obstacle for girls to attend and participate in school. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for hygiene and hand wash facilities in schools has been further enforced to prevent its spread.
To address this need, NatuReS Zambia, in collaboration with Lusaka Water Security Initiative, Lusaka City Council, the District Education Board, the Zambian Ministry of Health and Water Aid Zambia, officially handed over Jumbo Hand wash facilities to 58 schools under the Safe Back to School Campaign.

These Jumbo Wash stations allow many pupils to wash their hands at once, meeting the demand for handwashing facilities especially in overly populated schools in Lusaka’s most vulnerable communities. The stations contribute to a better provision with water, sanitation and hygiene services.

Water storage tanks awarded to schools with strong engagement on improved WASH facilities
Copyright: NatuReS Zambia

The handover event took place on the 27th of May at Kasamba Combined school in Matero, Lusaka, as part of the world menstrual hygiene day commemoration. On this day, hygiene in general and the access for girls and women particularly to safe and clean hygiene facilities, is in the global focus. During the hand-over, five schools evaluated as best performers on WASH in schools guidelines, were awarded certificates. Each of these schools received a 10000-litre capacity water tank, chlorine, cleaning agents and materials, hand washing soap, sanitisers and face masks.

By improving access to sanitation in schools, the hurdle for pupils, especially girls, to regularly participate in class, is lowered. Creating safe and clean learning environments hence plays an important role in Zambia’s development.

Workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility- Join for Free!

Free virtual workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility
Copyright: Vanessa Tyaba

The NatuReS Zambia team and LuWSI, in collaboration with a team of specialists from BlackForest Solutions (BFS), Landbell AG and Cleanhub will be conducting a free online workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The purpose of the workshop is to introduce the concept of EPR, using the EPR toolbox and the concept of offsetting certificates for plastic waste, which can be seen as the first step towards EPR.

The workshop will be held on the 17th of June from 10:00 – 12:30 CAT.

Interested? Then get in touch with the LuWSI Secretariat at luwsisecretariat@gmail.com or directly join the meeting on your computer or mobile app (Click here to join the meeting)

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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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