Natural riverbank

Zambia – Endangered Water Resources

Lusaka City, one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, is severely water insecure and faces many water challenges: Its population has inadequate access to water supply and proper sanitation services. There is increasing groundwater pollution and unsustainable groundwater exploitation. There are serious threats to the health of the Kafue River which provides 40% of the local utilities water. The city faces persistent risks of urban flooding, which makes Lusaka extremely vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

The social, economic and environmental consequences of water insecurity are grave: risks for human health, livelihoods, wellbeing and social cohesion as well as on the city’s economy (i.e. constrained investments and job creation). Other consequences include persistent poverty, negative impacts on the environment and reduced capacity of the city to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Improving Natural Resources Management in Zambia

Root causes of the foregoing issues include low investment and unsustainable financing in the water sector. Improved coordination amongst different stakeholders and within development planning as well as a better implementation of government policy and programmes could improve the management of Zambia’s water resources.

NatuReS Zambia therefore facilitates partnerships between the public and private sectors and civil society. The programme promotes collective action to protect and manage natural resources by boosting awareness of natural resource stewardship. At the same time it tries to safeguard investments in key economic zones as well as 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.

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 services OLAM’s Kateshi farm as well as surrounding communities and is used for farming, drinking water 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 development of the project partnership and preparation for 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 achieve 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 in 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 proffessionals and decision makers from public, community, civila soceity and private sector.”

Ms Brenda Mwalukanga – Lusaka Water Security Initiative Coordinator

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Its contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, BMZ or FCDO.