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Current Challenges for Accessing Clean Water in Zambia

Zambia, a fast-growing nation in south central Africa, is experiencing difficulties providing enough clean water to its economically-diverse population, where most of the rural and poor urban areas cannot afford clean water to drink, bathe, and produce food. As of now, all water is sourced from the Zambian government, but without proper investments into water infrastructure, they will not be able to act alone. That is where assistance from outside organizations like us at Healing Waters, and our partner, Jibu can provide life-changing opportunities. In our mission to provide clean water for all, we work together to help provide unique solutions to the unique communities we serve. We will take a look at the current Zambia water crisis situation, and how our partnership with Jibu and others can provide impactful solutions to save lives and bring dignity to all.

Drought & Water Shortages

Zambia is a landlocked country, and it faces significant challenges related to drought and water shortages. It relies heavily on two major rivers, the Kafue and Zambezi, for its freshwater supply. However, the region has experienced a series of droughts in recent years, significantly impacting the rivers’ water levels. These prolonged periods of reduced rainfall have led to water scarcity, affecting both domestic and industrial water use, causing hardships for communities and businesses alike. Additionally, agriculture, a fundamental part of Zambia’s economy, is adversely affected as reduced water supply disrupts crop irrigation, leading to crop failures and food shortages. Furthermore, lower river levels harm local ecosystems, including fish populations and wildlife that depend on the river for their survival.

A woman in an orange bandana carries a portable water jug atop her head, she is suffering from the Zambia Water Crisis


Lake Kariba, on the other hand, functions as both Zambia’s primary hydroelectric dam, providing power to the nearby capital of Lusaka and most of the country, and its declining water levels have adversely affected electricity generation. This not only impacts potential future dam projects that could benefit the nation but, more crucially, necessitates diverting water specifically to the dam’s generators, thus reducing the available water for people in need.


Without reliable clean water, many Zambian children will end up abandoning schooling. In rural areas and in the slums around urban areas, many families are without clean water, and need to spend multiple times a day gathering clean water, a job that often falls on women and girls of the family. With this, and without proper ways to keep themselves hygienic during their periods, women end up dropping out of school at the highest rates. Clean water is the foundation of not just physical health, but social and economical health as well. This is why without it, children cannot focus on their education, and instead are being forced to fend for survival instead.

Poor Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

Clean water shortages and a lack of hygiene education tend to be positively correlated. While there are many sources and causes for a lack of clean water, at times the people of a community can unknowingly make the situation worse. Without toilets, handwashing sinks, and other sanitation infrastructure in place, many people are drinking water used for sanitation needs, or even water shared with wildlife. With Healing Waters health and hygiene training, we can start ensuring communities know how to gather water that is safe to drink and stop the spread of preventable diseases. With this life-saving knowledge, communities can grow and pass down these habits to future generations. This is invaluable to the young populations of many African nations.

How Do Citizens of Zambia Currently Get Clean Water?

Over half the country lives in rural areas, and out of that, half the rural population has no access to any clean water facilities. Right now, those living in the poorest regions of the country are forced to gather water however they can. Some people are even spending over a third of their income every month just to supply their families with enough water. Since women are typically the ones gathering water, they are sadly often left vulnerable to attacks while on the way to get water at night. Although small improvements have been made, poverty, a lack of education, and lack of available investments will require a lot of help to increase access to all the people of Zambia. Luckily, we are working on solutions every day.

How a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Can Help

Our solutions involve creating customized water filtration systems to clean up the community’s water supply, making it safe to drink using the process of reverse osmosis. Our team of volunteer engineers work every week to create new systems and designs that will work best for each individual community. Our work with Jibu, a partnership we’ve held since 2015, allows us better access and better understanding into seven different Africa countries.

Our custom engineered solutions only get communities so far. This is why we team up with Jibu, whose team specializes in promoting entrepreneurship in communities to create affordable and sustainable water businesses. Once our filtration systems ship out and arrive safely at their destination, the Jibu team works with individuals to start their own water franchise. All the while they are giving many people, especially women, the skills to enter the workforce and take ownership of their own clean water business. Combined, our work has helped thousands of people in Zambia gain access to more affordable sources of clean water.

How You Can Help Zambia Get Access to Clean Water

We are all doing our part to help Zambia and all nations across the world easier and affordable access to clean water, but we will need your help. Just like our partnership with Jibu, we are always looking for those aligned with our mission to help people of developing nations gain access to the clean water they deserve!

Portable Water jugs left under a faucet to collect water in the Zambia Water Crisis

If you are wondering about the next steps you can take, contact us today to find out more about our various successful projects, our saturate community, or ways you can donate your money or time. We believe providing clean water should be a collective mission. With all of our collaborative effort, we can make clean water for all a reality, and get people to once again start thriving.

We’re on a mission to end the global water crisis. We build holistic clean water solutions and spread God’s love in at-risk communities around the world, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.

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