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Republic of Zambia


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Geology and Hydrogeology

The geology of Zambia, comprises various rock formations consisting of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks from Precambrian to recent times. In Zambia, aquifers can be broadly categorised into three groups:

  • Aquifers where Groundwater flow is mainly in fissures, channels and discontinuities, which are subdivided into highly productive and locally productive aquifers;
  • Aquifers where intergranular groundwater flow is dominant
  • Low yielding aquifers with limited potential:

The price of a completed borehole in Zambia tends to be in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 although it can be double this for some donor-aided projects.

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Related Resources

STOP THE ROT: History of the Rapid Handpump Corrosion Problem in Zambia and Potential Next Steps

This report presents the history and geographic extent of the rapid handpump corrosion phenomenon in Zambia, including fragmented and seemingly forgotten solutions. The report charts when and where the phenomenon became evident in the country, the measures taken (or not), and what was learned (or not), and proposes next steps for the Zambian government and its cooperating partners to tackle this pervasive problem.
Rapid handpump corrosion occurs when aggressive groundwater reacts with galvanised iron (GI) riser pipes and rods of a handpump, and the India Mark II in particular. The materials corrode, with the pumped water becoming bitter in taste, with an unpleasant smell and a rusty colour. This not only renders the water unfit for drinking from a user perspective but also considerably reduces the pump lifespan. In Zambia, the main cause of rapid handpump corrosion is contact between groundwater with a pH of less than 6.5 and GI pipes and rods. However, salinity is also a problem in some parts of the country and can result in rapid corrosion too.

Assessment of the Simple, Market-based, Affordable and Repairable Technologies (SMART) approach for Water and Sanitation Final Report

The Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) Netherlands commissioned IRC to determine the potential of the SMART approach in reaching SDG6, and other related SDGs. Thus, an assessment was realised in eight African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia).

The SMART approach comprises three pillars: 1) The use of innovative technologies, the SMARTechs; 2) Training of the private sector and 3) Promoting Self-supply. The use of SMARTechs (including manually drilled boreholes, various lifting devices including rope pumps and solar pumps, rain water harvesting systems and household water treatment) is considered as a way of reducing costs and scaling up the options for community and household investments at family level

The report is based upon review of documents, primary data collection (in late 2021) in Tanzania and Zambia including water point surveys and focus group discussions, key informant interviews and water quality testing.

Halte aux dégradations : Recherche-action sur la corrosion et la qualité des composants des pompes à motricité humaine en Afrique subsaharienne Recherche en Afrique sub-saharienne

Cette initiative vise à étudier l'ampleur et l'étendue de la corrosion rapide des pompes à motricité humaine en Afrique subsaharienne, à documenter les problèmes de qualité de leurs composants et à mieux comprend re les chaînes d'approvisionnement des pompes à motricité humaine y compris les mécanismes d'assurance qualité. En impliquant et en informant les parties prenantes dès le début de la recherche, l'initiative a tenté de catalyser l'action aux niveaux mondia l et national pour réduire l'incidence de la corrosion rapide des pompes à motricité humaine et améliorer la qualité de leurs composants.

Le premier rapport estime la dépendance aux pompes à motricité humaine en Afrique subsaharienne, examine la littérature sur la fonctionnalité et la performance des pompes à main et synthétise les informations sur la qualité technique des pompes à motricité humaine provenant de diverses études et évaluations.

Les rapports II et III de l'initiative Halte aux dégradations rassemblent les preuves de corrosion rapide des pompes à motricité humaine et de mauvaise qualité de leur s composants en Afrique subsaharienne. Dans le même temps, ce rapport conclut en exhortant les parties prenantes à se réunir et à explorer une autre question « La fonctionnalité des pompes à motrici té humaine n'est pas binaire quelles sont donc les implications pour les programmes, les projets, les services, le suivi et les évaluations »

Guidelines for community-driven water resource management

As initiated by the Integrated Water Resource Management Demonstration Projects in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia

SADC/Danida Regional Water Sector Programme. 2009. Guidelines for Community-driven Water Resource Management. Pretoria: Southern African Development Community/Danish
International Development Agency, in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute.

Stop the rot: handpump functionality, corrosion, component quality and supply chains Action research in sub-Saharan Africa

The 'Stop the Rot' initiative documents the scale and extent of rapid handpump corrosion and the use of poor-quality handpump components in sub-Saharan Africa and tries to bring about actions to address these problems. These two interlinked issues contribute to poor handpump performance, rapid handpump failure and poor water quality, all of which can ultimately lead to abandonment of the handpump sources, thus forcing users to return to contaminated or distant water supplies.

The first report estimates the reliance on handpumps in sub-Saharan Africa, reviews the literature on handpump functionality and performance, and synthesises information on handpump technical quality from various studies and assessments.

The second report examines handpump corrosion in detail, with an overview of what is known and what has been done to address the issue in specific SSA countries and by select organisations.

The third report reflects on the existing guidance on handpump quality assurance, collates examples of poor-quality components, and examines handpump supply chains through a case study of Zambia.

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