In 2000, there were just over 1m people living in Zambia's Central province. Social facilities were extremely limited, which made it unfeasible to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target in terms of health, education and water. Given the Central Province's urgent needs, in 2003 the Zambian government and the AfDB initiated a substantial intervention to improve the situation by providing adequate and sustainable water supply and improved sanitation serving around 2,000 communities.
The AfDB provided funding totalling $19.7m towards the cost of the project and the Zambian government made an additional contribution of $2.9m. The communities covered by the project benefited from the provision of 2,920 new and 670 rehabilitated boreholes and hand-built wells. The project also provided sanitation support to more than 16,500 families to build and rehabilitate their own household toilets. More than 210 schools and health centres received support for the construction of sanitation facilities.
Through the intervention, schools developed and implemented a sanitation awareness campaign, which entailed the promotion of water supply and sanitation services in the project area. The intervention was centred on community ownership and management, and participating communities were empowered to fully participate in the decision-making and implementation processes aimed at providing their own sustainable water supply and sanitation services.
The project area suffered from significant desertification due to deforestation and other human activities. The project therefore aimed to increase water catchments and forest reserves. This was done by reducing the rate of deforestation and replanting trees. The establishment of horticultural projects, community tree nurseries, beekeeping and small-scale businesses provided additional opportunities for income generation whilst improving the environment.
The Bank's Central Province Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (2003-2006) successfully provided health and hygiene education to about 1m people and benefited close to 600,000 people by providing water supply and sanitation services in five districts of the province.
This major intervention has contributed...