The COVID-19 pandemic requires a global response. With 6.4 million people still without access to clean water in Zambia, our work is more urgent than ever.

Without clean water, people cannot wash their hands and protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19.

We are working with the Zambian Government through their hygiene behaviour change programme, know as The Kutuba Campaign, to encourage people to practice good hygiene to protect themselves and others from contracting and spreading coronavirus.

Our contributions include:

Social media

A social media challenge involving influencers endorsing handwashing as the first line of defence against COVID-19 and committing to washing their hands for 20 seconds.


Producing 15,000 posters of COVID-19 messages in 5 local languages. We placed these on water tanks, public transportation, market places and other public places.

Radio announcements

Translating radio jingles and public service announcements in 5 local languages which are currently being played on community radio stations across the country.

Handwashing resources

Donating handwashing facilities, liquid soap, disinfectant, sanitizers, and handwashing stations across three different districts.*

National Response Committee

We are a member of the COVID-19 National Response Committee and holds the position of Co-Chair in the Risk Communications and Community Engagement Sub Committee.

*In partnership with the Lusaka City Council, Ministry of Health in Zambia, Zambia National Public Health Institute as well as partners on the ground such Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) Monze and Caritas Livingstone.


Our global response to COVID-19

After more than 50 years of independence, today Zambia has one of the world's fastest growing, if still relatively small, economies.

People's life expectancy, education level and income are improving. However, this progress has not been shared equally among Zambians.

Those affected by HIV/AIDS or who are are disabled are particularly at risk from the lack of clean water and decent, accessible toilets across the country.

And while these essential services should be a normal part of everyday life, people also need to be aware of their rights and have the knowledge and confidence to call for them where they are missing.

people don't have clean water.

That's more than 3 in every 10 people.

people don't have a decent toilet.

That's 68% of the population.

 children under 5 die a year.

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

For this reason, a large part of our work in Zambia is on citizen action, improving the connections between people and their local governments.

We help the Government respond to these voices with low-cost solutions that will also last into the future. We can then reproduce these small-scale systems elsewhere, scaling them up where possible.

By working together in this way, we can reach everyone in Zambia with the clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene they deserve.

The Pupil Pipeline

WaterAid/Chileshe Chanda
If am thirsty, I will simply walk and drink from the tap and quickly get back to class!
Mumbi, Grade 8, Simango School

No child should ever have to drink water from the same place as wild animals. But until recently, this is what 800 pupils at Simango School in Zambia had to do. 

For more than 40 years, pupils at the school got water from scoop holes on the dry and sandy riverbed of a nearby stream – a popular watering hole for local animals.

Thanks to the amazing UK schools who raised funds for our Pupil Pipeline project, together we have built a network of piped water points and a toilet block for the whole of Simango School. 

Abigail, in Grade 9, explains the effect the new water system will have: "We will no longer suffer stomach pains. I am very happy." 

Floridah, 14, says: "Now we have water, we will keep our classrooms and surroundings clean." 

“Thank you for this water,” says Xavier Mwiinga, the Headteacher. "We will always remember your gesture of good will.”

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

At her school in Lubunda, Claudia is a keen member of a club which helps teach younger girls how to deal with their periods safely. She's also an incredible singer – check out her version of a classic pop song for proof!

Claudia photographed in her school in Lubunda, Zambia, after filming a version of the song Sunshine on a Rainy Day.
WaterAid/Brian Riley

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