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Republic of Zambia


Geology and Hydrogeology

The geology of Zambia, comprises various rock formations consisting of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks from Precambrian to recent times. In Zambia, aquifers can be broadly categorised into three groups:

  • Aquifers where Groundwater flow is mainly in fissures, channels and discontinuities, which are subdivided into highly productive and locally productive aquifers;
  • Aquifers where intergranular groundwater flow is dominant
  • Low yielding aquifers with limited potential:

The price of a completed borehole in Zambia tends to be in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 although it can be double this for some donor-aided projects.


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Related Resources


Effective Joint Sector Reviews for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) A Study and Guidance - 2016

This is the first consolidated and referenced multicountry study of Water or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Joint Sector Reviews (JSRs). The study report and associated Learning Note and Poster provide an understanding of JSR processes and practical guidance on how to introduce and improve them. The study sets out a methodology in the form of visual checklists to reflect and take stock of WASH JSR processes. This could also form the foundation for subsequent cross-country comparisons of the JSR process.

The publications provide an analysis of JSRs as well as practical guidance on how to introduce and effectively manage them. The initial focus of the work was on JSRs in fragile states. However, the contested definitions of a fragile state, arbitrary thresholds as well as the realization that there are common issues with respect to JSRs in nonfragile countries led to a widening of the scope of countries studied. Notably, all countries included are considerably donor dependant for WASH. The study considered 25 countries, and found that between 2001 and 2015, WASH JSRs had taken place in 19 of them.

Note that these documents are review copies. | »

Procurement, Costing & Pricing and Contract Management of Borehole Construction - Zambia Short Course Report Striving for Professionalism in Cost Effective Boreholes in Zambia

The Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) Zambia and the Water and Resources Management Authority (WARMA) weresupported by the cooperation of UNICEF and Skat Foundation to strengthen capacity in the country with respect to siting, drilling, supervision, procurement and contract management. The support included the delivery of a five-day short course to 38 participants in Zambia on drilling procurement, costing & pricing and contract management. This report presents the proceedings and outcomes of the course. | »

Review of Self-financed Water Supply in Milenge district, Zambia Country Report Zambia

According to the UN Human rights to water and sanitation note (2015) there are three major management models for water supply, one of which is the “individual on-site solution” known as Self-supply. Self-supply is defined as incremental investments to improve access to water and quality of water financed by household investment. This report aims to present ‘adequate strong evidence to support or negate Self-supply acceleration as a service delivery model’ in Zambia. It is based on a review study of piloting of self-financed traditional well improvement in Milenge District, Luapula Province, one of the two poorest districts in the poorest province in Zambia. During the piloting also specific support services were provided such as facilitation of a loan scheme and training of local masons to iprove Self-supply so that there was supported Self-supply as service delivery model.

The study included extensive dry season surveys of waterpoints (200), households (150) and interviews with stakeholders at all levels, undertaken between June and August 2015. | »

Review of Self-supply and its support services in African countries Synthesis Report

Over the past decades, in many countries, significant progress has been achieved in improving access to rural water supplies. However, it will be almost impossible to reach universal access by using community supply models alone, as this approach will simply be too costly. For achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring universal access to water for all, new approaches and a shift in mindset and policies are needed. Supported Self-supply is a very cost effective service delivery approach which is complementary to communal supplies, is aligned with Human Rights principles, supports equity and inclusiveness and achieving several SDGs.
This Synthesis report summarises the results of a UNICEF funded review of supported Self-supply in Zambia and in Zimbabwe which was conducted in 2015 and reflects on findings from discussions at national workshops in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and from a webinar on supported Self-supply and Human Rights to Water organized by the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). | »

Human rights to water and Self-Supply – Potential and challenges RWSN webinar on 24th November 2015 – Key messages and generic findings

Summary of generic messages:
1. The Human Right to water does not favour or exclude any management model for provision of safe water to all. The important objective is that eventually all people have universal access, that core principles are adhered to and that there is no difference in quality and access no matter which supply approach is used.
2. Self-supply is aligned and compatible with the concept of progressive realisation of the Human Right to Water.
3. Government’s role in Self-supply is to identify where and when Self-supply is an appropriate option to provide access to safe water. Additionally government should provide technical support, monitoring, financial support (e.g. subsidies), establish an enabling environment and recognize Self-supply as one viable option to achieving the Human Right to Water.
4. In Self-supply, like in other approaches, challenges might occur around affordability, water quality, monitoring, and long term sustainability. The Government must support people moving up the water ladder but also take preventive measures to avoid negative impacts from Self-supply.
5. To further scale up Self-supply subsidies might be an adequate means to allow poor people to move up the water ladder in incremental steps. Subsidies need to be designed and provided in a smart way, without distortion of the local economy. If subsidies are provided there is need to find sustainable funding sources.
6. As Self-supply will not be an option in all regions, and because the cost of using the community managed approach alone will be far too high, a blended approach using boreholes, piped schemes and Self-supply sources (using different technologies) might be the best way to go for achieving universal access in rural areas. | »

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