Wellfield Protection Project


About the WFPP

This is a multi-stakeholder project involving government officials, business people, officials from non-governmental organisations and community members. The project aims to protect Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s two most significant borehole sites (also known as wellfields) to the south of Lusaka on the Lilayi Road (known as Shaft 5) and in Mass Media. These two wellfields supply water to about 110,000 customers of Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company Ltd. The two wellfields are currently under severe threat from human settlements. Water in these boreholes is threatened with pollution from sanitation facilities (pit latrines, septic tanks etc), garbage as well as chemicals from facilities such as filling stations and mechanical workshops. The levels of groundwater are also threatened by many private boreholes drilled around these sites.

Approach and Results

This multi-stakeholder project aims to protect the groundwater supplying these wellfields through a multi-level strategy that aims to achieve long lasting results in two main categories: firstly prevention of groundwater pollution and depletion and secondly strengthened collaboration amongst stakeholders.  In the first category of results the project will prevent the encroachment of illegal dwellings on to the wellfield sites, legally protect areas around and ensure proper management of sanitation and wastes within and around the wellfield sites.   In the second category, the project will ensure the partnerships between government agencies, businesses entities, NGOs and communities are mutually beneficial and based on relationship of equitable power. In this way, communities (usually weak and poor) will have the ability to protect the wellfields based on the understanding that their power to lead and self-govern, advocate for themselves and perform their duties as citizens in relations to the other partners is important to respecting, protecting and promoting their human rights. Finally the project will deliberately ensure partners learn   experiences and lessons inform future strategic protection of the country’s water resources


  • Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company Ltd.
  • Professional Landscapers Association of Zambia,
  • Water Resources Management Authority,
  • Lusaka Province Planning Authority,
  • Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources,
  • Lusaka City Council,
  • Village Water Zambia,
  • Zambia Homeless and Poor People’s Federation,
  • Women for Change,
  • Zambia Federation of Disability Organisations,
  • Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia,
  • Ward Development Committees

Wellfield Protection Project Strategies

Protect wellfield sites from encroachment

This will involve the development of community recreation parks or multi-functional green spaces on wellfield sites for which Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company has or in the process of obtaining title deeds (17 hectares at Shaft 5 and about 5 acres at Mass Media wellfields). This will add value to the land, create employment opportunities for surrounding communities and eliminate the opportunity for encroachment. This strategy requires huge investments in the order of 2 to 4 million US dollars but has huge potential for economic / financial sustainability.

Facilitate the legal protection of wellfields

Groundwater protection zones around the wellfields will be delineated and gazetted to allow government agencies to monitor and regulate land-use and other human activities to prevent groundwater pollution. The delineation process will involve hydro-geological modelling of flows around the wellfields, extensive hydro-census to map out all potential sources of pollution, topographic mapping and ultimately gazetting the protection zones and enforcing regulations

Improve management of sanitation, solid waste and groundwater

As well as advocate / facilitate the improvement in water supply and hygiene, development planning and disaster risk reduction, within wellfield protection zones specifically and Lusaka City generally. This will combine practical action on the ground, collaboration / partnership development and advocacy and influencing. This strategy involves a wide variety of actions including supporting communities improve construction of sanitation facilities; extending centralised sewer systems where possible; tightening Lusaka City Council’s role in approving plans and enforcing construction standards; increasing health promotion; improving groundwater monitoring and extending Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s water supply systems where possible; increasing monitoring and enforcement by the Water Resources Management Authority; and building the capacity of communities to effectively play their role in legal enforcement.

Establish mutually beneficial multi-stakeholder partnerships between duty bearers and communities

Using a Rights Based Approach. In order to achieve, just, inclusive and sustainable outcomes whereby accountability is entrenched and power relations are more equitable amongst all stakeholders, typical activities in this approach include awareness raising on rights for both communities and duty bearers, building capacity in advocacy and influencing, leadership development, establishing platforms and creating opportunities for dialogue / engagement between communities and duty bearers, enhancing participatory planning and developing the capacity of duty bearers to perform their rights obligations. Activities under this approach are often deemed complex with the most difficult M&E requirements. However, it is now generally recognised, that this approach is indispensable for accountability, inclusiveness, and sustainability and investments yield the greatest societal change and benefits beyond specific outcomes.  

Adopt a deliberate learning orientation

This strategy will involve, among other things, defining learning measures (including specific learning events) and setting up mechanisms, systems and processes that compel learning. This project has great potential for learning by a great number of key institutions. The Water Resources Management Authority desires to test regulations to protect groundwater resources and scale up lessons nationally. Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company would like scale up interventions to other wellfields in Lusaka whereas the National Water and Sanitation Council would scale up lessons on protecting wellfields to other Commercial Utilities throughout the country



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

+260 211 226 941/2

164 Mulombwa Close,Fairview, Lusaka

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