The objective of this partnership is to protect LWSC wellfields at Shaft 5 and Mass Media, in an environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable manner securing groundwater supply for Lusaka’s residents and businesses.
Between March and December 2016, the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) in Zambia developed the Wellfield Protection Project (WPP) under the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI). During stakeholder consultations on shared water risks on 9 December 2015, the project was identified as a quick-win. Two of Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s most important wellfields, accounting for 27% of groundwater supply (which is 60% of the total water supply to the city), were threatened by encroachment from human settlements. Resulting threats such as groundwater pollution and depletion from pit latrines, poorly managed waste, and unregulated water abstraction from private boreholes would negatively impact the wellbeing of about 78,000 people and the productivity of one third of water dependent industries. A multi-layered strategy was therefore developed. Firstly, the wellfield sites would be developed into community recreation parks; secondly, groundwater protection zones would be legally declared to enable effective monitoring and regulation of all threats to groundwater; and thirdly, capacity for multi-stakeholder collaboration (including empowerment of community structures) would be enhanced to ensure sustainable outcomes.
The key lesson from this experience is that the demands of project concept development and cooperation management (partnership building) require a lot of time and patience, but also the willingness to adapt procedures to the unique circumstances of the partnership.