Why work in Zambia?

6.4 million (35%) people in Zambia don’t have access to safe water ¹

12.5 million (68%) people in Zambia don’t have access to adequate sanitation ¹

5793 Zambian's die every year from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene ²

Zambia's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing in recent years, but despite this strong growth, 3 out of 4 Zambians still live in extreme poverty. The country faces major challenges: high unemployment and underemployment, low agricultural productivity, inadequate infrastructure, poor educational outcomes, and the impact of HIV and AIDS.

In 2015 the economy took a hit with the substantial decrease in the price of copper, the country's main export. As a result, people began migrating from Copperbelt towns back to their homes in rural areas, which put pressure on insufficient existing water supply systems, and increased the demand for safe water. 

Rainfall in Zambia has declined significantly over the last 30 years, and although the country has large fresh water resources, these are currently not used by the large majority of water supply systems.

¹ WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2021 report (based on estimates on the use of water sources and sanitation facilities)
² Global Health Observatory, 2016

What We Do in Zambia

In Zambia we work with communities and schools in the Luansobe/Kashitu Copperbelt region, and in the area around Kalomo, to install drilled wells and latrines, and provide hygiene training.  

Community members form WASH committees, who decide on their preferred location for the drilled well's pump, and are responsible for maintaining the drilled wells after their completion. The WASH committees are given pump maintenance training and are versed in book-keeping; as committee members contribute money to pay for future repairs. This encourages community ownership.

In Zambia we also work with schools to provide drilled wells, school latrines and hygiene training. The drilled well is located with community preference, and latrines are built with urinals for boys and washrooms for girls. Handwashing stations are constructed and pupils are given hygiene training. A maintenance committee of teachers and parents are trained to maintain both the drilled wells and the latrines.

Explore our Project Map to view our Zambian projects in more detail.


Background Zambia 

Capital: Lusaka

Population: 17.4 million ³

Area: 752,618 km2 (3x size of UK)

Other Main Cities: Ndola, Kitwe, Chipata, Kabwe, Livingstone

HDI Index: 143/189 (Medium human development) ³

Life expectancy at birth: 63.5 years ³

Under-five Mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 60 ³

Population living below income poverty line, PPP $1.90 a day: 57.5% ³

³ UNDP Human Development Report 2019