Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor has today published a new report on the need for water and sanitation service providers in Southern Zambia to become more resilient in the face of climate change.
The report, entitled, Building resilience to climate change: experiences from Southern Zambia, focuses on water shortage in the Zambezi river basin and the steps that the water utility Southern Water & Sanitation Company Limited (SWSC) is taking in response.
As the effects of man-made climate change become more pronounced, water shortages are becoming more common throughout Africa, with Southern Africa a particular climate change hotspot.
The challenges brought about by climate change are too fundamental to be solved simply by drilling new boreholes to access new water. Instead, utilities need to assess all parts of their operations, from financial management, to governance, customer engagement and staff capacity.
SWSC has seen its water source shrink significantly in recent years, most notably in 2018-2019, where many regions in Southern Zambia only received 20-30% of the normal annual rainfall.
As a result, WSUP has been working closely with SWSC, with the support of Wasser fuer Wasser, to develop and implement a utility strengthening programme to help it build resilience in the face of growing climate change.