National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program


  • Reference: P-ZM-E00-009
  • Approval date: 31/10/2006
  • Start date: 29/01/2008
  • Appraisal Date: 17/06/2006
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Location: ZAMBIA


The National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program has a number of activities which are put under four broad components, namely: a) Water Infrastructure Development b) Sanitation and Hygiene Education; c) Institutional Support and Capacity Building; and d) Program Management


The objective of the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program is to increase access to safe, reliable and convenient quantities of water supply from present 37% to 55% of the rural population by 2010; and to increase access to proper sanitation from 13% to 33% of the rural population by 2010. The program will also ensure that women comprise 50% of the V-WASHES, 30% of the D-WASHES, 50% of all participants in the training of water and sanitation infrastructure operations and management, and 25% of all artisans trained in construction of latrines. As a result of the first phase of the program (2006 to 2010), an additional 2.1 million people will have access to safe water and 2.3 million people will have access to improved sanitation services.


1. The National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (NRWSSP) was developed with the involvement of all the key stakeholders. The GRZ and other stakeholders are strongly committed to its implementation, as are the cooperating partners who have indicated funding to the sector. The program design has taken into account experiences and lessons learnt from past interventions in the water sector, particularly the rural water supply and sanitation sub-sector.

2The design of the program has taken into account lessons learnt from the Bank's RWSSI and the experience of other donors. These lessons include, the adoption of demand driven and program approach based on decentralized implementation by communities, fast tracking through the use of country system and avoiding delays in starting, and implementing the program activities so that the objectives are attained on time.

3The NRWSSP creates the conditions to improve the sustainability of the sub-sector through a better policy that will enhance community ownership of facilities, as well as the impact that access to clean water and safe sanitation on the wellbeing of the rural population of Zambia as it is designed to address the shortfall in physical infrastructure as well as improving the policy environment for sector sustainability. In order to address the shortcomings of the sector and to quickly expand access of the rural population to clean water and safe sanitation in a sustainable way, GRZ has conceived the NRWSSP as a Sector Wide Approach.

4Resulting from the consultations undertaken as part of the NRWSSP planning process, was consensus on the need for a sector investment program. The key feature is on "a common basket of activities" aimed at achieving national objectives, whereby all the stakeholders, including donors and NGOs are required to adopt common approaches for planning, design, choice of technology, use of a common institutional set up, and a common set of criteria for prioritizing communities for support and to fund only activities defined under the program. The SWAP will be adopted on a two phased approach, where phase 1 covering the period 2006-2010 includes all the institutional changes and capacity building necessary to develop and implement a fully decentralised programme along with implementation of area based activities and projects with a common framework, and phase 2 covering the period 2011 -2015 is implementation of a nation-wide fully decentralised program. During phase 1 districts with low access to water supply and sanitation services are targeted. Districts without any major area based investment activities will also be included in the programme, mainly to carry out rehabilitation of existing water and sanitation facilities and receive capacity building support to prepare them for full implementation during phase II.

5The program has adopted the demand responsive approach, which provides the communities with the opportunity to make informed choices about the types and levels of services they want and can afford, gives them ownership and responsibility for the management, operation and maintenance of the selected option, thus more likely to be sustainable.

6The program concept addresses: (a) increased water supply coverage and reduced walking distances between household and water points for women and children, (b) reduced water borne and hygiene related diseases amongst children and the vulnerable, (c) alleviation of the work burden of women and children with respect to transporting water, (d) community mobilisation with gender equality with a special focus on encouraging women's participation in water user committees and to undertake roles such as treasurer, hand pump menders or caretakers, and (e) water supply technologies which are appropriate and easily managed by women and children, and whose maintenance is accessible and less effort is needed to operate them.

7The program emphasizes affordability of technology options such that the population is not overburdened with the cost of maintenance. It will prioritise rehabilitation of dysfunctional water points that can easily be repaired, for which spare parts can be easily obtained and are relatively easy and economical to maintain.

8The design of the program has incorporated lessons learnt from the past projects in order to enhance its impact on the population. The corrective actions include

(i) formulation of the program through a participatory approach that involved representatives of all stakeholders (women, communities, NGOs, private sector, local governments, CPs and central government) and

(ii) formulation of the NRWSSP in line with the national strategies of the FNDP

(iii) the adoption of joint sector review mechanism for monitoring sector performance to reduce government transaction costs,

(iv) use of a common set of criteria for selection of districts or provinces by CPs, and

(v) adoption of a common O&M system and supply chain for spare parts.


1. The beneficiaries of the program are the rural people who do not have access to clean water and safe sanitation. Other beneficiaries will include the central and local government institutions whose capacity will be enhanced, the artisans who will be trained and assisted to establish repair outlets for water supply and sanitation systems, the private sector who will participate in the implementation of the program.

2. In view of the very low coverage of water supply and sanitation in Luapula and Northern Provinces, which also have the worst poverty indicators, GRZ has requested that the proposed ADF Loan should support area based program activities in these two provinces. The access rates of water supply and sanitation services in these areas are less than 21% and 4% for water and sanitation, respectively. Bank Group financing for the program will target rural population in fifteen districts of Luapula and Northern Provinces to achieve the MDG targets of 75% for water and 60% for sanitation.

Key contacts

CHINOKORO Herbert Mugwagwa - RDGS4


Finance source Amount
ADFUAC 15,000,000
GovernmentUAC 16,400,000
Co-financierUAC 46,000,000
DeltaUAC 30,000
TotalUAC 77,430,000