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Tag: Zambia

Launch of the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report in Lusaka, Zambia

The award ceremony led by the Guest of Honour, Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha.
Copyright: GIZ

Zambia’s National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) launched the 2021 Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Report at Lusaka’s Taj Pamodzi Hotel on 9th April 2022. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike Elton Mposha, was the Guest of Honor. The report covers the first-year implementation of NWASCO’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This strategic plan focuses on “leveraging on enhanced enforcement, information communication technology, research and development and innovation to efficiently and effectively regulate water supply and sanitation services” at 11 Zambian water and sanitation commercial utilities (CU) and four private schemes.  

The event included the annual presentation of awards to the utilities demonstrating the strongest performance when it comes to sustainable water management in the sector, including the Water Stewardship Awards, presented by the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) .  

The Water Stewardship Awards were launched in January 2018 to promote sound water resource management by companies. It focuses on water conservation and efficiency in business and industry as a main criteria for evaluation. This year’s winners were the Southern Water and Sanitation Company (SWASCO) in first place followed by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) in second place. See the video below for more information on the importance of water stewardship for all – private companies, public authorities and communities.

The Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) also received six further awards; namely: (1) most improved commercial utility water service; (2) best staff efficiency; (3) best operations and management cost coverage by collection; (4) second place for Water Stewardship; (5) most improved commercial utility; and (6) 2021 CEO of the Year Award for Engineer Jonathan Kampata. 

LWSC and NWASCO are key partners of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI); Lusaka’s lighthouse initiative for water security, which NWASCO hosts. Through collective action and with private companies and utilities becoming water stewards, the country’s vital natural resources can be protected and sustainably managed. The awards acknowledge and encourage the important work utilities and companies are doing in this regard.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor, 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.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

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. 

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia

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.

Author: Sonile Mutafya, NatuReS Advisor Zambia