Our Origins

LuWSI's Origins

In 2012 a group of actors worked closely together in a multi-stakeholder partnership to protect the Itawa Springs in Ndola. The partnership took a multi-dimensional approach to address a localised yet complex problem, including working to restore and protect the springs’ ecosystem, installing water supply and drainage infrastructure, increasing community awareness and relocating households and livelihoods directly impacting the springs core protection area, and finally striving to ensure the springs are legally protected. This was the first project of its kind in Zambia, taking such a holistic multi-stakeholder approach to improve water security.

Based on the successes and lessons of this partnership, in 2014 actors like Zambian Breweries and the Water Resources Management Authority who partnered in the Itawa springs project requested GIZ’s International Water Stewardship Program (IWaSP) to support them in developing a partnership to address factors affecting groundwater pollution in Lusaka. This was clearly a challenge on a much greater dimension of scale and complexity than protecting the Itawa Springs, and would require a more substantial approach. A series of three workshops was then undertaken in June 2014 to scope out the issue convened by GIZ, each of them targeting different groups of actors: the public sector, the private sector and civil society.  Over 70 actors came together in total, and identified the major polluters of groundwater, including inadequate onsite sanitation, solid waste and industrial pollution. All actors identified that government was unable to address the challenges alone and called for a partnership to get stakeholders to work together to stop the situation further deteriorating. 

Based on this demand and the challenging task ahead, GIZ’s IWaSP Programme focused efforts to mobilize resources to develop this initiative. In early 2015, GIZ reinvigorated stakeholder consultations to collectively start to craft what would become the Lusaka Water Security Initiative. A key meeting between the leadership of WARMA, LCC, LWSC and ZEMA took place in July 2015, where the actors agreed that a lack of effective collaboration was the vulnerability for the city in the face of threats to water security. They also agreed on LuWSI’s fundamental objectives, functions and approach and gave GIZ the mandate to initially host the initiative’s Secretariat during its development and incubation phase. GIZ worked with actors from public sector, private sector, civil society and international organizations to carefully shape LuWSI’s governance and strategy. 

The initiative was officially launched on 2nd December 2016. See short film of the launch here. Since 2018, the Secretariat has been hosted at the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO). 


C/O NWASCO P. O. Box 34358, Lusaka

+260 211 226 941/2

164 Mulombwa Close,Fairview, Lusaka

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