LUSAKA, April 2018: The Acting Director General of Zambia’s Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), Mr. Lemmy Namayanga, launched the Zambia National Water Stewardship Award. The Zambia National Water Stewardship Award has been established to promote, incentivise and recognise good corporate water stewardship amongst water using companies in Zambia. The Award is hosted by the Zambian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) and will be awarded on an annual basis starting in November 2018 to a leading company that demonstrates sustainable water use in line with international best practice. Judging criteria for the Award are based on criteria of the AWS Standard. A panel of judges will be appointed from government, industry and civil society. The Award is a project within the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI), managed by a project task team led by Action for Water. The call for applications will be opened in May.
Information by: Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI)
Zambia’s Waters! Our Future!
The Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) is an autonomous body established by the Water Resources Management Act, No. 21 of 2011. WARMA exercises control over all water resources in Zambia as envisioned in the Water Resources Management Act. The Act set out provisions to regulate the use of water in Zambia by considering or issuing of water permits with the exception of international shared water bodies.
Zambia's Water resources are important for economic growth and the well-being of society. Drying river flows, drying boreholes and reduced water for power generation are clear signs of how land-use and climate change are impacting water resources and consequently on the livelihoods of citizen lives and the economy as a whole.
Why Water needs to be Managed?
Water is a resource with high value to the daily lives of millions of people and the Zambian economy. Major business sectors like nutrition, tourism and even the building industry rely on steady water supply. Zambia depends on groundwater: 60-70 percent of all water used in the country comes from this source. Even though the country is richly endowed with a lot of water in the form of rivers, lakes and swamps, its agriculture is mostly rain fed. At the same time, Zambia’s electricity sector is heavily reliant on hydropower (over 95%). The country’s citizens and industries rely on the valuable resource for daily life and operations.
Access to water is a basic human right which is often threatened when the resource is not properly managed and not available in adequate quantities and/or quality. Water as an economic good contributes to the prosperity of a nation. Water-related conflicts and disputes in Zambia are already apparent due to competing uses, namely domestic, the environment, commercial agriculture, hydropower and mining. Therefore, water has to be managed by a neutral authority to ensure equitable access for all user groups and prevent and mitigate further conflicts.
According to the Seventh National Development Plan (2017-2021) there is a strong correlation between economic growth, industrial growth and water consumption. According to a report by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute, economy-wide annual losses due to load shedding in Zambia amount to 32.5 ZMW billion (representing 18.8 % of GDP) while losses to the agriculture sector are estimated at 2.83 ZMW billion (representing 1.6 % of GDP).
Paying for water emphasizes the value of the resource and encourages measures to protect future access. Of course, the community right to drinking water and ensuring sufficient flow to maintain the environmental values needs to be sanctified.