Water in Zambia, is not equally provided to everyone. For example, out of the population of about 13 million in Zambia, about 5 million do not have access to clean water. This also applies to sanitation in Zambia; about 7 million of Zambians do not have access to sanitation facilities.
The situation is particularly evident in rural areas, peri-urban and low cost areas. Most of these areas lack safe drinking water and good sanitation.
The country’s main drainage system comprises of the Zambezi River and the Chambeshi watershed. Zambia’s major lakes include Lake Mweru, Lake Tanganyika (Part of it) and Lake Bangweulu.
Zambia boasts of a number of big lakes which includes the following:
Some of the rivers are the following:
Clean drinking water is provided by 11 Commercial Utilities, six Private Schemes and Local Authorities. Some of these utilities are as follows:
Even with all the fore mentioned water resources, a recent study indicated that about 40 % of rural households does not have access to clean drinking water.
Getting water for most rural inhabitants is not simply turning the tap on. The people usually draw their water from wells and rivers which in most cases are a distance from their homes. They have to walk some distance, and then carry the water back home in buckets or any suitable containers.
In towns the water utilities have managed to supply piped water to a certain extent. However, in most towns, the service is poor. Though meters have been fixed, you find that some households do not have water at all. This has forced some of them to dig their own boreholes, right in their own yards!
All water utility companies operate under the regulations of the National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO).
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