An estimated 4.8 million Zambians lack regular access to clean water, and 6.6 million lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. Poor water and sanitation are a major factor in Zambia’s high rates of childhood malnutrition (40 percent stunting) and mortality (seven percent of live births). In alignment with the Global Water Strategy and USAID Agency Specific Plan, USAID is assisting Zambia to address the aforementioned challenges through investments that promote sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation while strengthening water sector governance, financing, and institutions. USAID addresses these objectives in targeted rural areas through integrated WASH and agriculture investments, and a multi-donor WASH and nutrition project, Scaling Up Nutrition Technical Assistance.
In addition to USAID’s investment, the Millennium Challenge Corporation is supporting major infrastructure improvements and institutional strengthening in water supply, sanitation, and drainage in the capital, Lusaka. USAID also coordinates closely with other donors active in the WASH sector in Zambia, including the European Union, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and UNICEF. In some instances, USAID co-finances activities alongside other donors, to leverage resources and avoid duplication of effort. Overall, these activities are expected to provide 1.7 million Zambians with sustainable water and sanitation services by 2021.