Natural riverbank

Zambia – Endangered Water Resources

Zambia is a landlocked Central Southern African country which is increasingly urbanised, although much of the country remains underdeveloped and unspoiled. Zambia is one of Africa’s most water-rich nations. However, it also ranks as one of the countries most exposed to climate-driven disruption on the continent. Significant dry spells in 2017, 2018 and 2019 have resulted in low water levels in Lake Kariba, dried up wells and disrupted livelihoods. Recent years have also brought increased flooding, affecting communities in Zambia’s Northern and Eastern regions. Poor governance and unchecked development, especially in urban centres, result in an increasingly poor management of Zambia’s natural resources.

Improving Natural Resources Management in Zambia

NatuReS Zambia facilitates partnerships between public, private sector and civil society. The programme promotes collective action to protect and manage natural resources by boosting awareness for natural resource stewardship. At the same time, it tries to safeguard investments in key economic zones and to create and secure jobs. NatuReS’ goal is to foster sustainable development by embedding knowledge around stewardship into key institutions so they can drive policy and practice.

NatuReS Zambia is currently working in two areas: the Chambeshi Catchment, located in the Northern part of Zambia, and the capital Lusaka city, located in the central Southern part of the country.

Partnerships in Zambia

NatuReS is active in catchment areas across Zambia

Chambeshi Water Security Partnership

Location: Northern Part of Zambia (Chambeshi Catchment)

Aim: The Chambeshi Water Security Partnership (CWSP) was created in 2017 to ensure continued sound water management in the region while agricultural activities are intensifying. The partnership aims to ensure that water resources are governed, protected, and developed in a professional and participatory manner.


  • Construction of multipurpose dam at OLAM (private company). The dam supplies OLAM’s Kateshi farm as well as surrounding communities with water and enables local activities such as farming and fishing.
  • Support to small outgrower farmers
  • Establishment of water governance structures
  • Promoting afforestation
  • Empowerment of communities and making women visible in water governance
  • Implementation of AWS Standards at OLAM

NatuReS working areas: Catchments

Partners:  Olam, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Chambeshi Water Supply and Sewerage Company, World Vision Zambia, SNV, Forestry Department, Kasama Municipal Council, Water Resources Management Authority

Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI)

Location: Lusaka City

Aim: improving water security for Lusaka’s residents and businesses and overall stewardship of the city’s natural resources through enhanced multi-stakeholder collaboration

Activities: See Projects in Zambia

NatuReS working areas: Cities, Economic Zones, Circular Economies

Partners: 29 public sector, private sector, civil society and international partners (all LuWSI partners)

Projects in Zambia

Small stream flowing next to a field

Sustainable water management secures Zambia’s development.

Green Cities Adaptation Programme

The pioneering multi-layered and multi-stakeholder umbrella programme means to unlock new resources and action (including from the private sector) regarding green open spaces, developments, infrastructure and services.

NatuReS working area: Cities

Wellfield Protection Project (WFPP)

Its objective is to protect two of Lusaka’s most strategic groundwater wellfields, Shaft 5 and Mass Media. Activities include preventing encroachment through the participatory development of inclusive recreation eco-parks around the wellfields, empowering communities in wards around wellfields and improving management of groundwater, waste and sanitation within wellfields and surrounding wards.

See here for more info and list of partners for this project.

Lusaka West Water Supply Project (LWWSP)

The project aims to improve water security for industries and communities in the Western part of Lusaka City and contribute to Lusaka West’s socio-economic development and resilience. It specifically seeks to provide and safeguard access to improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Current activities include the development of the partnership, the preparation of a feasibility study and ground water exploration.

NatuReS working areas: Economic Zones

Partners: Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC), Cities and Infrastructure for Growth (CIG), Coca Cola Beverages Zambia (CCBZ), Water Sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASHFIN), Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Lusaka City Council (LCC), Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

Solid Waste and Sanitation Management Project

The project focuses on promoting Solid Waste and Sanitation Management and the sustainable management of hazardous waste. A multi-stakeholder partnership with key involvement of private sector actors will help to unlock investments in solid and hazardous waste management and assist the local authority and environmental agencies to fulfil their mandate. It will simultaneously try to change the citizens’ perspectives in order for them to recognize waste as a resource and harness the benefits of a circular economy. The project is currently setting up a recyclers’ alliance for the implementation of the project.

NatuReS working areas: Circular Economies

Partners: Lusaka City Council (LCC), Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Lafarge, Coca Cola Beverages Zambia (CCBZ), Zambian Breweries and Cities and Infrastructure for Growth (CIG).

Green Schools Partnership Programme (GSPP)

The programme focuses on improving and enhancing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (“WASH”) in all schools within Lusaka and specifically targets public and community schools in Lusaka’s most vulnerable (peri-urban) communities. With support from host communities and stakeholders it aims to inspire private sector organisations to address WASH challenges existing in schools within the district. Activities include the “Safe back to School” Campaign which ensures children’s return to school under safe measures during the Covid- 19 crisis and trains teachers and school staff on the safe measures.

Partners: Lusaka City Council (LCC), Lusaka District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Ministry of Health (MoH) and WaterAid Zambia.

Corporate Stewardship

The project encourages companies to align their production processes to good water stewardship practices in order to protect resources. Current activity is the Annual Corporate Water Stewardship Award.

Partners: Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI). Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)

Improving wellfield security and water supply to combat Covid-19

Activities include design and installations of security measures at boreholes, repair, installation of equipment and material improvements and sensitization of LWSC operations and maintenance personnel.

Partners: Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC)

Partner Voices

“LuWSI has been working with the GIZ NatuReS program on various water projects and programmes. We have received support in terms of capacity development, technical support and process management. Our working relationship has resulted in improved partner management, engagement and learning of new approaches to our water security partnership and coordination. We have worked on the development of a Water Security Action and Investment planning process as well as capacity building for early carrer water professionals and decision makers from the community, and the private and public sector.”

Ms Brenda Mwalukanga – former LuWSI Coordinator


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The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 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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