Water and Sanitation in Zambia
Zambia's semi-arid Southern Province has an annual rainfall of only 70cm and sufferes from water shortages and droughts. Few reliable water points exist, requiring women and children to walk miles each day to collect water which is usually dirty and unsafe.
This coupled with the fact that only a small fraction of people in the province have access to latrines means that water and sanitation related diseases are prevalent.
WaterAid first began work with the Zambian Department of Health in 1995 in a hand-dug well and latrine construction program, that also focused on community mobilization, education and training. In Zambia, WaterAid is working with governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, technicians, latrine builders and pump mechanics who work directly with communities to improve water and sanitation access.
EWB volunteer Jenn Dysart has been working in partnership with WaterAid since September 2005. Her work focuses on building the capacity of community leaders by training them as latrine builders, pump caretakers, etc. and helps them form V-WASHE (Village Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education) committees. Once the program has been established, she works with extension staff within the Department of Health who are located in and work directly with rural communities. She provides training for them so that they can effectively gather information, monitor progress of the water and sanitation projects, conduct meetings and report to WaterAid about progress made.