GIZ Transboundary Water Management programme together with the SADC Water Directorate is carrying out a joint water supply and sanitation feasibility study at Chirundu on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project is in support of the implementation of SADC’s Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP IV) for Water (2016-2020) with co-financing from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The study combines the currently separate water and sanitation service delivery initiatives by Zambia and Zimbabwe to ensure that the free movement of people resulting from the one stop border post (OSBP) will not result in a strain on water-sanitation and health facilities on either side of the border if facilities remain asymmetric. Joint operation and capacity sharing will be promoted by augmenting and revitalising water and sewage treatment works, water pumping and storage capacities, selected distribution networks as well as refurbishing existing public ablution facilities and communal water kiosks. Activities started in late 2017 with the engagement of stakeholders and drafting of Terms of References for detailed studies. So far a socio-economic baseline survey has been completed and a technical and financial feasibility assessment is underway. The participatory approach in project preparation aims to capacitate the member state officials to develop bankable projects and access finance for water infrastructure from development financing institution (DFIs) on their own.
A three-day project launch workshop was held in Siavonga, Zambia, from the 18th to the 20th of March 2019. 32 delegates from sector ministries in Harare and from the water ministry in Lusaka as well as key stakeholders from Chirundu attended the workshop. GIZ, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and SADC each had one representative attending the launch. The socio-economic baseline survey and technical and financial feasibility consultants made presentations and received comments before the project was formally launched by the Water Directors’ representatives for the two countries. The delegates committed to steer the project to full implementation. On the third day of the workshop, a field visit was undertaken to Chirundu to help acquaint the delegates with the existing infrastructure and service delivery challenges on either side of the border.