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Partnership activities in Zambia have benefitted more than 400,000 people directly and more than 600,000 people indirectly since January 2013
Well over 1.2m Euro have been mobilised from the private sector for projects to improve water security
Rapid growth in membership of the Lusaka Water Security Initiative, a city-wide multi-stakeholder approach to improve water security for Lusaka’s residents and businesses through improved water management, land use and urban planning
Context, Approach and Objectives

Zambia is relatively water-rich compared to other countries in southern Africa. However, water availability varies considerably between different regions of the country, seasons and years. As Zambia’s economy and population are rapidly growing water demands of multiple sectors are increasing. The government’s National Development Plan has identified energy and food production as priorities. Both are heavily dependent on water availability, allocation and quality. In Zambia, the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) aims to improve water security for 184,000 people, with a focus on partnerships with the beverage, agricultural and hydropower sectors. IWaSP is implemented in cooperation with the long-standing Reform of the Water Sector Programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which has been partnering with the government of Zambia in the water sector for the last 45 years.


IWaSP Partnerships in Zambia

Partnership name


Sector/thematic area


Itawa Springs Protection Partnership

Water resource protection

2012 to 2019

Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI)

Holistic multi-stakeholder approach to improving urban water security

2016 to 2020

Chambeshi Water Security Partnership

Water resource governance and management

2017 to 2019

Currently IWaSP supports two partnerships and one cooperation with several projects in Zambia

Itawa Springs Protection Project

The Itawa Springs Protection Project in Ndola protects a critical water source for Zambian Breweries, the local water utility, and the community. The spring is under threat from pollution and unsustainable land use. Projects covered by the partnership include building water kiosks, washing slabs and drainage, restoring the ecology of the water spring and legally protecting it, developing alternative livelihoods, and building the capacity of the involved partners to sustainably protect the spring. The partnership also ensured the safe relocation of informally settled houses which were impacting the spring. It is a partnership of seven public sector organisations, Zambian Breweries, 11 elected community representatives and IWaSP. This short video shows the approach and progress of the partnership

Lusaka Water Security Initiative

Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) aims to improve water security for Lusaka’s residents and businesses through multi-stakeholder engagement, coordination and action. The partnership covers the assessment of water security threats and solutions for the city and implements projects to improve the situation, focusing on groundwater pollution prevention, sustainable groundwater exploitation, a healthy Kafue River and improved water supply and sanitation access. Launched in 2016 it now counts more than 20 partners from the corporate and public sector as well as international organisations and NGOs. Under LuWSI, several partnerships are implemented:

  • In the Wellfield Protection Project partners work together to safeguard wellfields from encroachment and pollution. Two wellfields have been successfully protected ensuring improved water security for over 200,000 people in Lusaka
  • In the Awareness and Education Campaign, pupils and communities in vulnerable areas are capacitated to become water stewards within their surroundings. Over 400 pupils are trained to share crucial water messages.
  • The Water Security Action and Investment Plan is an integrated strategy developed jointly by key public actors to set the water security agenda for the city of Lusaka. 
  • The Zambian international water stewardship award has been developed under LuWSI. The Zambian Chamber of Commerce and Industry awards this prize on an annual basis to corporates that excel in sound water management within and beyond their fence line.

Please find more information about the partnership on its website here or subscribe for its newsletter here.

Chambeshi Water Security Partnership

Based in the north-eastern part of Zambia the Chambeshi Water Security Partnership (CWSP) was created in 2017 to ensure continued sound water management in the region while agricultural activities are intensifying. With over 10 partners, CWSP backs the establishment and strengthening of water management processes on catchment level. Partners also support capacity building of farmers, rural access to water and awareness raising activities next to the implementation of AWS by one of the private sector partners, Olam

Achievements to Date

From January 2013 to December 2018 these partnerships benefitted more than 600,000 people indirectly and more than 400,000 people directly. IWaSP in Zambia managed to secure more than EUR 1.2m from the private sector and more than EUR 0.6m from the public sector to support the ongoing partnerships.

In Zambia, IWaSP is anchored in the bilateral and GIZ-implemented Reform of the Water Sector (RWS) Programme, a joint programme of the German and Zambian governments.

Country Set-up

In Zambia, IWaSP partners with over 40 organisations. These include the Water Resource Management Authority, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, several city utilities and city councils, the Zambian Environmental Management Agency, several private sector companies and the Zambian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

IWaSP is an international water security programme which combines global best practices in water stewardship with local know-how. Currently active in nine countries, the seven-year programme (2013-2019) facilitates partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and civil society to address shared water risks, while improving stakeholders’ use and management of water and building their capacity to develop their own solutions. GIZ manages IWaSP on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

Further Information on Zambia’s Water Resources

Zambia is relatively water-rich compared to other countries in southern Africa. The World Bank estimates its renewable water resource at around 8,700 m3 per capita per year, while the sub-Saharan average is 7,000 m3 per capita per year.

Zambia’s economy and population are rapidly growing, increasing the demand for water and energy, with hydropower being the main energy source.

Water availability varies considerably between different regions of the country and between seasons and years, resulting in recurring weather extremities like droughts and floods. Climate change is likely to exacerbate variability in the future. Since the 2014 dry season, the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) has reported a drop in borehole levels, indicating a general decrease in water levels, which is estimated to be partly the result of climate change.

Energy and food production are identified as priorities in Zambia’s National Development Plan; both heavily depend on water availability and allocation and is a typical example of the link between water, energy and food.
The national water policy and water-related laws points out the need to prioritise domestic and environmental water needs over those of irrigation and energy production. Zambia’s challenge is how to allocate water equitably in an environment of increasing demand, ecosystem requirements and transboundary commitments.

In light of these challenges and the recognition of water scarcity as a core business risk, Zambia’s private sector is urgently calling for better water resources management.


Contact Information

Robin Farrington
IWaSP Country Coordinator in Zambia