In the regional context, Zambia is an economically and politically stable country. Zambia became independent from the United Kingdom in 1964. After turbulent decades marked by economic instability and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s, the country has experienced solid average economic growth of over 4 percent since 1990. Between 1990 and 2017, income per capita almost tripled, putting Zambia at the lower end of the middle-income bracket. This economic development is largely based on stable political conditions, sound domestic as well as financial policies and a high demand for copper, the country’s main export.
Nevertheless, the country still faces enormous economic and social challenges. Zambia ranks in the lower third of the Human Development Index (HDI), which is reflected by the fact that 60 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Zambia is one of the countries with the highest income inequality in the world.
Water and Sanitation Situation
Zambia has sufficient water resources to meet its needs compared to local standards. Nonetheless, more than a third of all Zambians do not have safe access to clean water and about half of the population is lacking access to basic sanitary facilities. Especially in fast-growing cities, where the local capacities are insufficient to absorb the rapid influx of people.
Human Development Index (HDI)
Rank 146 (Total 189)
35% without basic water access
68% without basic access to sanitary facilities
4.1% (Top 20 of 189 countries)
PROJECT AREA LUSAKA
In the Zambian capital of Lusaka, the population has tripled since 1990 to more than 2.5 million. Many newcomers move to informal urban areas where water and sanitation services are hard to come by. Today, 65% of the population - more than the 10 largest Swiss cities combined - live in compounds. In these areas, the average daily income per capita is less than USD 1.90. Around 60% of the people have no secure access to urban drinking water supplies and even more live without a secure access to basic sanitation.
Population of Lusaka
1.6 million in compounds
60% without access to drinking water
90% without access to sanitary facilities
WfW kiosk in Misisi, Lusaka
Street scene in John Laing, Lusaka
PROJECT AREA LIVINGSTONE
Livingstone is located at the international borders of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. The population has more than doubled since 1990 to 180,000 inhabitants today. More than 40% live in compounds.
Although the city attracts many tourists thanks to the nearby Victoria Falls, a large portion of the permanent resident population lives without a basic drinking water supply. This can be attributed in particular to heavy losses of drinking water through the pipeline system.
Population of Livingstone
Population in Compounds
12% without access to drinking water
62% excluding access to sanitary facilities
The improvement of the water supply in fast-growing urban areas improves the lives of thousands of people. Our goals are based on this fundamental vision:
Creating and improving safe and affordable access to water for the poorest segments of the population
Sustainable strengthening of the local water sector through targeted measures
Supporting and connecting local actors and structures in a goal-oriented way in order to prevent parallel structures